Biologist serious recycler and re-user
For Eva Hernandez minimising the amount of waste she produces begins before she even hits the shops.
The Mt Eden biologist says reducing household waste is easy and there is nothing to fear in new Auckland Council rules.
From Friday new provisions that will affect the way households deal with their rubbish come into effect as part of the council’s solid waste bylaw.
The new rules set maximum limits for the amount of recyclable material allowed in rubbish bins and bags, provide a regional approach to collections including standard collection times and maximum weights and volumes of rubbish bins and bags, and extend restrictions on green waste in household rubbish.
Rubbish bins and bags should now contain no more than 5 per cent recyclable material, down from the current average rate of 15 per cent.
‘‘The new provisions will empower the council to move forward with our objectives to reduce waste to landfill, and to pursue our aspiration for a Zero Waste region,’’ solid waste manager Ian Stupple says.
The bylaw will require Aucklanders to take greater responsibility for sorting their rubbish.
Ms Fernandez is already well on the way to doing what the council is asking.
The Spanish-born marine biologist uses a ‘‘bokashi’’ system to turn organic waste into fertiliser and is a serious recycler and reuser. Any plastic bag that finds its way into her home will have mul- tiple uses.
Most of what she does to minimise the stuff she sends to the landfill are small and simple things.
‘‘I recycle as much as I can and what I usually do is not buy things that I can’t recycle,’’ she says.
‘‘I also buy things like legumes in bulk so I have maybe only one plastic bag at the end of six months.
‘‘So I reduce my consumption and it’s cheaper at the end.’’
She says she is keen to spread the word about the need for people taking responsibility for their own rubbish.
‘‘Some people don’t get it, but it will become more expensive to find a new landfill than just to recycle and compost at home.’’
The council won’t be enforcing the law as such but plans to make education and engagement the priority. The bylaw does allows for enforcement by way of prosecution but this won’t be invoked until it is deemed the only option.
No waste: Eva Fernandez with her ‘bokashi’ composting bin.