Pathway to Zero Waste
Council adopts zero waste
Since its adoption of 'zero waste' in November 1999 the Opotiki District Council has come a long way, not only in its residual waste reduction but also in a change of attitude by the public, Councillors and staff alike.
Waste reduction has been achieved by:
- RRC charging
- A recycling programme at the Opotiki, Te Kaha and Waihau Bay RRCs
- Education process
- Mulching of greenwaste
- Implementation of a kerbside recycling collection service.
This last initiative has an incentive to "sort" through the use of a 45 wheeled refuse bin and four recycling crates - one each for glass, plastic, tin and paper. Only two types of recycling get collected each week and only one refuse bin each emptied each week per household.
The incentive is really there using this methodology, and apart from early comments it will never work, most of the urban public have responded with enthusiasm and adapted quickly to the service changes.
Resource Recovery Centres
Three Resource Recovery Centres (RRCs) were established at:
- Te Kaha
- Waihau Bay.
The employees who carry out the recycling at Council's RRCs are committed to their work and remain enthusiastic about the zero waste strategy.
A waste reduction initiative has been undertaken by Ngaitai Iwi Authority at Torere in conjunction with the Opotiki District Council and Zero Waste. This has proved to be an excellent alternative to the unsightly skip bins.
Similarly a scheme at Maraenui has been established.
The introduction of a sorting table at the Opotiki RRC also assisted in waste reduction.
Other contributors to this reduction have been an education programme Zero Waste/Opotiki District Council into schools through worm farms and waste reduction programmes. In 2001 we have built on this to have all schools adopt a Zero Waste Schools Policy which will have spinoffs for future waste reduction. Maraes are also being encouraged to adopt a recycling strategy.
In the third 2010 school term, Council contracted EERST to again introduce another waste reduction programme in all schools.
Worthwhile? You bet!
The whole exercise has been most worthwhile as it:
- Reduces waste
- Gives some people more discretionary income
- Enthuses the public in general
- Reuses material and thus save on very expensive imports.