An interesting one, this. Parex is the seller of Insinkerator in-sink waste disposal units (see their provocative advertising within these pages), which grind up food waste and send it down the pipes. It ends up at the same place our sewage is dealt with. Being organic matter, it produces methane gas at the plant, which is burned to turn turbines and produce electricity
which is used to run the plant. So far, so nifty. Waste disposal units don’t get a mention in the Draft Waste Minimisation Plan, yet according to Andy Higgs, director of Parex, one third of Auckland households have one. It is already part of the waste process, but we don't know if the council would like to see more of it. Products such as these have had some bad press, but Rachel
Hughes from Watercare, the council-owned company that manages the facilities, says that the amount that comes into the plants has a “small, or no, impact on the functioning of the plant”, so much so that Watercare “doesn’t have a view” on the matter. Higgs, meanwhile, argues that
his product represents a responsible, cost-effective, environmentally friendly way to dispose of food scraps, and
points out it is a system widely used internationally.