The city's waste problem will be the subject to a council investigation over the next 12 - 18 months.

Over half of everything that Tauranga sends to landfill could be reused, recycled or composted. The draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, adopted today, signals the council's intent to investigate a rates-funded kerbside solution that will be designed to divert more residential waste from landfill.

If the investigation leads to the council considering a rates-funded waste solution, the details of how such a service might function would then be developed and opened to further public consultation.

"The adoption of the draft plan does not mean that we will definitely change the system, it just means that we will spend more time gathering information. We know that the city has a very real waste problem. More data will help our elected members make well-informed decisions about the future provision of waste services in the city," said Rebecca Maiden, manager of resource, recovery and waste. "The draft plan provides a way to progress carefully towards a solution that works best for the city, the environment and the residents. It also establishes a mechanism that will allow us to use the waste levy we get from central government instead of funding the investigation through rates."


The draft plan includes actions to support all sectors of the community, including schools, business, events and industry, to divert more to recycling and composting processes and systems. "We want to ensure that we are enabling everyone in the community to divert as much as possible from landfill," Ms Maiden said.

Tauranga's Draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan is now open for submissions from the community.

Submissions can be made by visiting http://www.tauranga.govt,nz/wasteproblem]www.tauranga.govt,nz/wasteproblem.