Auckland Council collecting opinions on rubbish

Press Release – Auckland Council

Public consultation has started today on Auckland Council’s draft plan for managing rubbish in the region. The council is asking Aucklanders to consider how the region can reduce its waste even further.Auckland Council collecting opinions on rubbish

Public consultation has started today on Auckland Council’s draft plan for managing rubbish in the region. The council is asking Aucklanders to consider how the region can reduce its waste even further.

The draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan includes proposals to standardise household kerbside collection across Auckland to help achieve a 30% reduction in kerbside waste by 2018.

The plan also introduces new initiatives to divert recyclables, food and garden waste and other materials from landfill and make better use of them.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse said Aucklanders are already great recyclers, but there’s more to do. “This is a plan that affects all Aucklanders – it’s about our environment and our communities. We want to hear feedback and great ideas from households, businesses and community groups on how we should deal with waste.”

Submissions open today and close at 4pm, 31 January 2012. Information is available and submissions may be made online at The draft plan, summary and submission form can also be downloaded or picked up from a local board office, council service centre or library, and forms returned by freepost.

Deputy Mayor Hulse continued: “This submission period is the start of a conversation about waste management in Auckand. We’ll be asking Aucklanders to tell us what they think and, in the future, we’ll be working with local communities to make the agreed changes.”

The lengthy submission time reflects the importance of getting Aucklanders involved over the busy festive season. A public engagement campaign launching in December will encourage Aucklanders to consider how the city can deal with waste.

“We all need to start treating our waste as a resource, not rubbish, said Councillor Wayne Walker. “Every year, more than $8 million worth of recyclables ends up in the rubbish. And the 97,000 tonnes of food and garden waste that we throw away could be turned into valuable products, like compost. We need to get our waste sorted.

“This draft plan includes incentives for Aucklanders to reduce the amount of rubbish we throw out, and the tools to help us do it. Collectively, we can make a huge difference to the amount of waste that is sent to landfill. If the new services proposed are adopted in 2015, by 2022 we’ll have diverted over 500,000 tonnes from landfill.”

Auckland Council Manager of Infrastructure and Environmental Services John Dragicevich emphasised the plan is not just about households. “Auckland Council will also encourage businesses and the waste industry to reduce waste. We’ll be advocating for legislation change, for things like refunds on beverage containers. This has the potential to lift container recycling rates to 90%, well ahead of the current 30-40% in New Zealand, but it would need to be a national approach.”

“Studying best practice in other forward-thinking cities has been a key element of preparing the plan,” continued Mr Dragicevich. “We’ve looked at what’s worked in waste management around the world and believe we’ve come up with a suite of services that will work for Aucklanders and have the best impact on waste.”

A 1000-page Waste Assessment that reviewed current and forecast demand for waste services in Auckland also informed the draft plan. In March 2011, councillors supported a strategic direction of continuing with the current services and streamlining where possible, establishing new systems to collect and recycle food and/or garden waste (which makes up 40-50% of the household waste stream) and exploring a mix of measures to gain more operational influence over the entire waste stream.

The public and businesses may also attend a hearing to speak in support of their submission (March 2012). Auckland Council will consider all submissions and hearings before the final Waste Management and Minimisation Plan is adopted in May/June 2012.

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