The Ruapehu region has a vision of being waste-free by 2040.

Ruapehu has adopted its waste management and minimisation plan (WMMP) and the 'Zero Waste by 2040' vision was one of a number of changes to the draft brought about by public consultation.

Other consultation driven amendments include allowing for greater community involvement in the solid waste activity and the introduction of kerbside food waste collection.

Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said it was great to finally have the WMMP adopted following an extensive development process and an extended public engagement period.


"One of the significant things highlighted by the process is that council and the community share the same vision for ensuring that Ruapehu minimises its waste footprint," he said.

"Like the rest of NZ we have some big challenges ahead in protecting and improving our environment and meeting our national environmental obligations."

With the imminent closure of the district landfill following the expiry of the current consent in 2020, Ruapehu District Council will now develop a cleanfill site in Taumarunui.

All other residual waste will be transported to a suitable facility outside the district for processing.

Cameron said the underlying goal driving the WMMP was to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill.

"Council fully supports the principle of zero waste, which requires us to manage our waste issues locally wherever possible," he said.

"The introduction of kerbside food waste collection combined with industrial composting is a critical aspect to the WMMP.

"We know from past waste audits that up to 50 per cent of what is picked up kerbside can be compostable material such as food waste."


The kerbside collection regime is proposed to change to having food waste and blue bin recycling collected every week and pink bag rubbish collection every second week.

Based on current costs, people on kerbside collection will have increased charges of $90 per annum to cover the new food waste service.

However, if households use one less pink bag per fortnight this will save them $98.80 per annum.

Two submissions the public made that were not adopted were the expansion of plastic recycling from 1 and 2 only to include plastics 3-7 and the introduction of a pink bag subsidy for Community Service Card holders.

"Research found that due to changes in the international plastics recycling market plastics 3-7 are now being stockpiled and some councils that previously accepted them for recycling are no longer doing so," Cameron said.

"If the situation changes and council finds it can have plastics 3-7 recycled in an environmentally friendly, ethical and economically feasible way, the WMMP has the flexibility to allow for this.

"Likewise for the proposed pink bag subsidy for Community Service Card holders where research shows that there is no hard evidence that it would reduce illegal dumping or burning."

Mayor Cameron said for the plan to be successful, households and businesses need to make changes to their behaviour with a much bigger commitment to reducing, reusing, recycling and composting.

"For many people this will require a change to their current behaviour. However, we don't believe this needs to be difficult or time-consuming with a little organisation and understanding."