A Kaipara organisation set up to encourage waste reduction awareness is reaching out to local business owners with a new programme launching today in a bid to curb the amount of business waste, while also encouraging better recycling practices.
Love Kaipara is already running waste reduction education and promotion programmes in the district, having been established by Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock.
While recently studying her masters degree in politics, the Kaipara District councillor discovered she could help her district, and the wider region, to protect its unique environment through promoting sustainable practices such as recycling, composting and waste reduction through smart shopping.
She created the education and promotion programme in 2015, which has been rolled out in some Kaipara schools since 2016 and receives the support and funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund and Kaipara District Council (KDC).
"I wanted to address the lack of information and encouragement about recycling and waste reduction in Kaipara communities," she said.
"Studying for a master's degree in politics from 2013, I became aware of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, and within this legislation the obligation for territorial authorities to promote waste minimisation."
The Love Kaipara team, including del la Varis-Woodcock, project assistant Emma McLean and school educator Margaret Baker, will today roll out the Ka Pai Business programme.
Del la Varis-Woodcock said Love Kaipara relies on funding to carry out its work, but the new business programme would create an independent revenue for the project.
The Ka Pai Kaipara and Ka Pai Kiwi Business programme includes a site visit and a waste audit, a waste reduction plan, and a follow-up visit to measure waste reduction outcomes. Recipients of the service also receive certification for their waste reduction.
"New Zealand has the highest volume of waste going to landfill in the developed world. Each of us sends 3.6 kilograms of waste to landfill every day.
"This is unsustainable. Not only does this statistic belie our green image, it also signals that waste disposal costs will increase," she said.
"Businesses must factor in the rising cost of waste disposal. The best way forward is to do what they can with what they have got, starting now. Not only will businesses feel better about their goods and services, they will reduce disposal costs, but waste reduction can give a business a strong marketing edge."
The initial pilot education programme she kicked off has been taught to more than 300 students at four Kaipara schools and is funded until 2019.
She also devised and instituted a public waste minimisation campaign through a printed flyer distributed to the mailboxes of Kaipara residents, radio advertising on a local Kaipara radio, and news articles in the local press.
Already, the team has worked with the Northland Field Days crew to help them reduce landfill waste from each event.
For more information check out www.lovekaipara.co.nz or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three top waste tips for your business
1. Business waste reduction begins with selecting suppliers that provide goods in recyclable or compostable materials.
2. Separation of waste is key. Assign an area for recycling: You need bins for each type of waste - plastic, glass, metal (including steel cans), bottle caps etc; aluminium cans and foil, all types of paper and cardboard, compostables and perhaps a chook bucket.
3. Customers really do notice recycling measures and green initiatives. They vote with their feet as well as their wallets.