Section 43 of the Waste Minimisation Act (WMA) states that a Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP) plan must provide for methods for achieving effective and efficient waste management and minimisation.
Whilst the recommendations discuss, and offer different options for waste management it is completely deficient of any discussion around waste minimisation. Therefore it is my belief that the draft WMMP is in breach of the WMA. Potentially the proposed WMMP could therefore be subject to judicial review because of this deficiency. This is an area which requires urgent attention.
Waste Management Proposals
I appreciate what you are attempting to achieve by moving residents onto wheelie bins. However it seems that there has been an attempt to make a one size fits all solution. For example it would be a remarkable achievement for a single person household to fill an 80ltr bin weekly.
Whilst I acknowledge that we may be seen as an exceptional case I know my family of 4 worked hard at reducing that amount of waste that went to landfill and averaged 30ltr a week. We undertook annual audits of what was going into the landfill bag (mostly food packaging) and educated our children about reuse, reduce, recycle and refuse. Indeed local shopkeepers have become well aware of my aversion to plastic bags.
See below for further discussion under organic waste.
Support neither option.
1/ Offer a choice of smaller bin sizes to residents.
2/ Make an effort to have single use plastics phased out in NCC & HDC jurisdictions. This will require a concerted effort of councils working with retailers to do this, but it is achievable. Be imaginative and bold. Lobby central government for legislation to assist you banning single use plastics. Yep. The old stick and carrot approach. We need to refuse to imagine that the status-quo is acceptable.
3/ Continue educating the public – especially though programmes designed for kids – about how to reduce household rubbish.
Totally support your suggestion of standardised crates for health and safety reasons. My preference would be for weekly collection, option A
1/ There is a fair amount of rumour going about Napier that a significant portion of recycling is dumped straight to landfill. I have no idea about the validity or otherwise of these rumours but an education programme would be useful.
2/ Have a bi-annual inorganic collection for large house hold items such as whiteware and electronics. Lobby central government for legislation to place a levy on the purchase of such items to fund this initiative. You could also encourage retailers to accept the return of discarded items as part of the purchase process.
I have some concerns about your suggestion to have a seperate organic collection but can appreciate the logic behind it. It begs the question that if 80% of material that could have been composted or put into to recycling is organic waste why are you recommending wheelie bins that are of comparable volume to that which is already allowed? Surely if you are successful with getting organic waste separated the volume of the wheelie bins could be reduced by a comparable amount.
Our household currently has zero organic waste going to landfill as we compost everything. Under this proposal we would be punished for doing the right thing. But I also appreciate that with smaller sections sizes people have less space for a compost bin/worm farm.
This is an challenge for which there are no easy solutions. As someone who has zero organic waste going to landfill the question is would I be prepared to pay additional rates for the benefit of the community as a whole?
We need to somehow differentiate between the different types of households which is why I support option C. At the same time I appreciate that without a seperate organic collection people will likely still put their organic waste into the general rubbish – which does not solve your challenge of reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.
I acknowledge that I have no answers here. No doubt you are in the same boat. Hence option C.
I am very supportive of the rural recycling stations. Those communities would know best where they should be. We also need to maintain regular collections of unused chemicals and the like.
Rubbish is a really interesting and important topic. Like most things if we are truely going to have a community the understands the concept of reuse, reduce, recycle and refuse more education programmes are necessary. Especially at school level. I would be very supportive of increasing funding for education programmes. We did it for smoking. We did it for drink driving. We can do it for rubbish.
Rubbish reduction has many flow on environmental, social, and economic benefits. It is more than just what’s going to the landfill. That’s why I found the consultation pamphlet so underwhelming and unimaginative. To reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill we need to get society as a whole to stop producing so much of it. Otherwise we are simply treating the symptom and not finding a cure for the cause.
I am very aware of the lack of initiative shown by central government in the past but I think you will find that the current government has a different view on the matter. Waste reduction is after all one of the 20 initiatives negotiated by the Green Party with their coalition partners. I am not sure if it is simply because an announcement has yet to be made from Wellington but I think the draft WMMP does not reflect expected changes in focus.
I would like to speak to my submission.
My submission is made as a private individual and not in my role as Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillor.
Section 43 of the WMA states that a WMMP must provide for:
(a) objectives and policies for achieving effective and efficient waste management and minimisation within the territorial authority’s district
(b) methods for achieving effective and efficient waste management and minimisation within the territorial authority’s district, including –
(i) collection, recovery, recycling, treatment, and disposal services for the district to meet its current and future waste management and minimisation needs (whether provided by the territorial authority or otherwise); and
(ii) any waste management and minimisation facilities provided, or to be provided, by the territorial authority; and
(iii) any waste management and minimisation activities, including any educational or public awareness activities, provided, or to be provided, by the territorial authority