Find­ing new ways to man­age waste

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - ADRI­ENNE WIL­COCK

Rub­bish isn’t ex­actly a riv­et­ing sub­ject but, while we are be­com­ing bet­ter re­cy­clers, the amount of waste sent to land­fill is also in­creas­ing and will end up cost­ing us more fi­nan­cially, and an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact in the years to come.

Fel­low coun­cil­lor Paul Cronin and I rep­re­sent the dis­trict on a com­mit­tee with Hau­raki and Thames-Coro­man­del dis­trict coun­cils for the Joint Waste Min­imi­sa­tion and Man­age­ment Plan (WMMP) which is cur­rently un­der re­view.

The re­viewed plan will de­ter­mine how we man­age waste in the fu­ture and it’s im­por­tant you have your say since, as a ratepayer, you will ul­ti­mately be pay­ing for the ser­vices and ini­tia­tives that come from it.

We are look­ing at a suite of 10 ini­tia­tives for this 10-year-plan and would like to know if you sup­port them, and which should be pri­ori­tised.

Among them is the pos­si­bil­ity of set­ting up a re­cov­ery cen­tre in Mata­mata like the com­mu­ni­tyrun Seag­ull Cen­tre in Thames which would see items up­cy­cled, get a sec­ond life and avoid or at least de­fer dis­posal to land­fill.

Our kerb­side col­lec­tion pro­gramme has been up and run­ning in its cur­rent form since 2013, which has seen re­cy­cling vol­umes in­crease sub­stan­tially.

This is a great start and we hope to see even larger vol­umes of re­cy­clables col­lected as it con­tin­ues.

There is also the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­tend­ing re­cy­cling ser­vices to our ru­ral ar­eas.

So no mat­ter whether you live in town or in the coun­try, I be­lieve now is the time to se­ri­ously put into prac­tice the 5Rs: Re­duce, Re­use, Re­cy­cle, Re­cov­ery and Resid­ual dis­posal.

We’re gen­er­ally pretty good at reusing/re­pur­pos­ing but need to up our game in the other ar­eas.

It is sim­ply not good prac­tice to put re­cy­clable ma­te­rial into land­fills or farm dumps.

Coun­cils have a role to play in sup­port­ing com­mu­ni­ties to do the right thing and are seek­ing to con­tin­u­ally im­prove per­for­mance but it is ul­ti­mately up to the peo­ple to make the dif­fer­ence.

I en­cour­age you to have your say on the WMMPand help shape the fu­ture of waste min­imi­sa­tion and man­age­ment in our dis­trict.

-Mata­mata ward dis­trict coun­cil­lor Adri­enne Wil­cox is also chair­woman of the Agre­cov­ery Foun­da­tion which runs a na­tion­wide prod­uct stew­ard­ship scheme in the col­lec­tion and re­cy­cling of agri­chem­i­cals and their con­tain­ers for 68 levy pay­ing brands and is also on the gover­nance group for the NZ Ru­ral Waste Min­imi­sa­tion Project.

SUPPLIED

Mata­mata could set up a re­cov­ery cen­tre like the Seag­ull Cen­tre al­ready op­er­at­ing in Thames.

Adri­enne Wil­cock is on the Joint Waste Min­imi­sa­tion and Man­age­ment Plan com­mit­tee.

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