Plans to reduce Wellington waste up for discussion

Wellington wants to reduce waste going to landfill from 600kg per person per year to 400kg by 2026. Photo: Forest and Bird

Wellington residents are being asked for feedback on plans to reduce the amount of waste going to the city’s landfill - including a proposal to provide kerbside food and garden waste collections.

All councils in the Wellington region have been seeking feedback on the draft Wellington Region Waste Management and Minimisation Plan at the same time as they engage on their annual plans.

Mayor Justin Lester says encouraging residents and businesses to recycle more, and finding better ways to manage and reduce the waste going to the landfill are just two of the ways the city is working towards a more sustainable future.

“We’re working with all the other councils of the region on this, and have an ambitious collective target to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the region’s landfills by a third over the next 10 years.”

“We want to work with businesses and residents to reduce the total amount ending up in the landfill from 600 kilograms per person per year to 400 kilograms by 2026, and then look at what more we can do.”

Chairperson of the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan Joint Committee, Wellington City Councillor Iona Pannett, says organic waste, including food and garden waste, makes up about 32 per cent of the waste that ends up in the region’s landfills, which is why an investigation into more kerbside services is proposed.

Christchurch already has an organic collection, and Auckland Council announced this month that it plans to introduce a citywide food waste collection over the next few years.

“Our draft waste plan also proposes investigating ways we could beneficially use the sewage sludge that currently goes into the landfill, which would have the dual benefit of helping to lower our greenhouse gas emissions,” she says.

“We are also proposing to develop a better a resource recovery network so more materials are diverted from the landfill and reused. This could include facilities for processing food and green waste, and finding alternatives for construction materials. All these things are big landfill contributors.”

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