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Waste Minimisation Fund open for applications

Waste Minimisation Fund open for applications

Environment Minister Nick Smith today invited businesses, organisations and individuals with innovative waste minimisation ideas to apply to the Waste Minimisation Fund.

"Last year the Waste Minimisation Fund backed 27 projects totalling $7.5 million. This waste levy is helping support smart new recycling initiatives all over the country including anti-freeze recycling in Dunedin, turning disposable nappies into compost in Canterbury, converting sewage into plastics in Rotorua and tyres into biofuels in Auckland. The Government gave $2 million of that funding to the Love NZ recycling initiative for the Rugby World Cup," Dr Smith said.

"This year more than $12 million will be available and I invite people with ideas and projects that promote or achieve waste minimisation to apply. I particularly want to encourage people with initiatives that will help in Canterbury's earthquake recovery, to consider making an application."

Dr Smith said the $10 per tonne levy charged on all waste sent to landfills that supports waste minimisation projects, will not increase this year following a review by the Environment Ministry.

"As the levy has only been in place for two years, the Ministry's analysis has concluded that we don't have enough information to see if the levy is significantly changing people's behaviour - a point noted by the Waste Advisory Board," Dr Smith said.

"We need to be cautious about increasing costs in challenging economic times because the levy flows through to households and businesses. We also need to be confident the benefits of raising the levy would outweigh the costs, which cannot be established at this time."

For information on the Waste Minimisation Fund go to: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/wmf

The Waste Disposal Levy Review is available at review-waste-disposal-levy

ENDS

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