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.

Starting from a base figure of 10,000 tonnes per annum this has been reduced to 1,100 tonnes as at June 2009.​

This is a result of:
  • 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 reduced the weekly urban collection from 10 tonne of residual waste to 5 tonne. The other 5 tonne plus is being sorted as recyclable material at the Opotiki RRC.​

An incentive to “sort” is the use of a 45 litre recycling bin and the supply of 52 by 25 litre residual waste bags. Extra bags are $1 each, obtainable from Council.​

Picture of an Opotiki District Council rubbish bag

The incentive is really there using this methodology, and apart from early comments “it will never work”, the urban public have responded with enthusiasm.​

Resource Recovery Centres

Three Resource Recovery Centres (RRCs) have been established at:

  • Opotiki
  • Te Kaha
  • Waihau Bay.

The employees who carry out the recycling at Council's RRCs are still enjoying the recycling work and are as enthusiastic as ever.

Waste Reduction

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 reduced waste by approximately 165 tonne.

Overall by June 2010 the annual residual waste fell to around 964 tonne per annum, a reduction of 90.5%.

Other contributors to this reduction have been an education programme Zero Waste/Opotiki District Council into schools through worm farms and waste reduction programmes. Beginning 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.​

Page reviewed: 25 Sep 2017 4:26pm