Whangarei residents generate an average of 800kg of waste each every year.

The Whangarei District Council is targeting a reduction in this figure as part of its draft waste minimisation and management plan which it adopted late last month.

The plan is open for submissions and waste and drainage field officer Grant Alsop said the council wanted to hear feedback from the public on the plan, as well as any initiatives the public might have.

"We want to work together, it's really important we all deal with rubbish in a smart way."

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Under the Waste Minimisation Act, the council is required to review and adopt the plan every six years.

The plan outlines a number of targets for reducing and managing waste.

Whangarei residents generate an average of 800kg of waste per person each year. This pile is approximately 800kg. Photo/John Stone
Whangarei residents generate an average of 800kg of waste per person each year. This pile is approximately 800kg. Photo/John Stone

An estimated 67,000 tonnes of waste was generated in the Whangarei district last year. Of that, 70 per cent of it was sent to landfill and the rest was recycled or composted.

Another of the targets is to increase the proportion of material captured for recycling at kerbside and transfer stations.

At present 35 per cent of waste collected from the kerbside is recycled. The target is to increase that figure by 2020.

At transfer stations, 44 per cent of waste is recycled, and the council wants that to increase to 50 per cent by 2020.

Mr Alsop said a lot of waste which currently went into landfills could be recycled.

For items such as timber, he said, there were places which took old timber. People could Google these and take timber there, which would keep it out of the landfill.

He said people could also "get smart about food waste" by using composting systems, or donating food scraps as animal feed.

As part of the plan, the council will consider options for increasing the availability to the community of organic waste collection, better services for bulky waste and additional sorting of commercial and construction waste.

Mr Alsop said the council had recently introduced a green waste bin at Ngunguru and had green waste bins at Hikurangi and Uretiti.

He said it was something the council could consider at other transfer stations, and the same concept applied for other types of waste.

The council also indicated a desire to work with the public on options for litter bins in holiday areas across the district to reduce litter.

Reduced waste and increased recycling will also be targeted through education.

The council wants to keep its waste and recycling collection and drop-off service information up to date and highlight it to visitors, and continue its support of education programmes for schools, homes and businesses.

The plan also states the council will make grants available from the council's allocation of waste levy funds, and develop an implementation plan for the existing solid waste management bylaw.

Submissions close on August 5 and hearings are scheduled for August 24. Go to www.wdc.govt.nz to see the draft plan and make an online submission.


Top tips for reducing waste
A survey completed for the Whangarei District Council found 40 per cent of household waste was food based. Waste and drainage field officer Grant Alsop gives us his top tips for reducing waste:

-Love food and hate waste - check out the lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz website for ways to avoid wasting food
-Sell or donate unwanted items
-If you can, deal with food waste yourself - worm farm, compost, feed it to the chickens
-Compost garden waste at home or take it to your transfer station to be composted
-Make sure you are recycling everything you can - paper, cardboard, plastics, glass
-Use reusable bags/containers while shopping