An early childhood centre, a food rescue group and a project turning waste plastic into pens, clocks and earrings are among the recipients of a fund supporting waste reduction projects in Tauranga.
The Resource Wise Community Fund is a $75,000 annual contestable fund offered by Tauranga City Council to encourage reducing, reusing and recycling our waste. Seven projects will be funded this year.
Good Neighbour has once again secured funding towards its programmes, supporting vulnerable communities and reducing waste at the same time.
The organisation rescues food from supermarkets, cafes, manufacturers and orchards and redistributes it to local charities and vulnerable communities. The food rescue programme is supplying roughly 1.4 million meals a year, diverting 503 tonnes of food from landfill.
The funding will also go towards Good Neighbour's firewood team, which has rescued 300 cubic metres of wood from across Tauranga, blessing more than 100 families with firewood to keep warm over the winter months.
Organic materials such as wood, food and paper in landfill create methane, an aggressive greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Good Neighbour is tackling two of these methane sources – food and wood waste.
Good Neighbour general manager Simone Gibson said these initiatives wouldn't be possible without support from the community.
"Without the generous support from councils, local organisations and volunteers, food and wood would continue to be sent to landfill, contributing to New Zealand's waste problem.
"Instead, we're able to use it to keep families warm and well fed," Gibson said.
Greerton Early Learning Centre is using the Resource Wise grant to build an "at-home reusable nappy cycle", providing reusable nappies for children to wear at home and at the centre.
Tauranga City Council waste minimisation officer Liesel Carnie said alongside organic waste, disposable nappies are one of our biggest waste issues because they cannot be recycled or composted.
"On average a baby could use approximately 4000 to 6000 disposable nappies in their lifetime, which will all end up in landfill – taking years to break down.
"If parents were to switch to reusable nappies, that figure can be reduced to about 30 nappies," Carnie said.
EnviroHub had also received a grant to support its Precious Plastics project. Precious Plastics is a global movement that turns plastics into exciting new products.
The Tauranga branch turns clean plastic lids into pens, clocks and earrings, with more products to come. People can drop their clean plastic lids (no silicon or metal) to Envirohub, Building 25, Historic Village, 17th Ave.
Other recipients include:
• Reuse Aotearoa, which will be investigating reusable packaging opportunities in Tauranga
• Mount Maunganui Toy Library, which will purchase new, long-lasting toys to add to its toy collection, encouraging people to borrow toys rather than buying new ones
• Mainstream Green, which will run a waste reduction workshop and build a network of "waste activators" across Tauranga through a six-week course
• Accessible Properties, which will support its tenants to use the new kerbside collections service to reduce waste sent to landfill
The fund will reopen for applications early next year.
- Supplied copy