Why Waste the Chance? Have Your Say on Waste!

Posted by on Dec 13, 2011 | 1 Comment

Yes it’s true – there’s an Auckland Waste Management and Minimisation Plan in draft form – and YOUR submissions are wanted by 31 January 2012.

Like Rachel, the Russians take their rubbish very seriously

Like Rachel, the Russians take their rubbish very seriously

“So what!” I hear you exclaim, if one can exclaim in apathy. Oh come on, I know you want to know more about this. If we continue as we are, it won’t be long before we are buried up to our necks in rubbish and we need to make some radical and meaningful changes if we want to avoid that grisly and messy end. And to that end, or at least to avoid that end, there will be a public meeting held here in Devonport at the Devonport Community House at 7pm on Thursday 15 December.

Imagine what your Christmas parties will be like with you as the only well informed guest with views on the Auckland Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (in draft form). Imagine the conversations you’ll have, the floors you’ll hold and the canapés you’ll wave aside as you expound the pros and cons of standardised inorganic collections (you see, now I’ve got your attention).

The Auckland Council has a vision, and that vision is to have Zero Waste by 2040, turning its waste into resources. Ha! You may scoff, but why not? Isn’t that the world we want to live in?

Did you know, for instance, that organic waste makes up 50% of weight of domestic kerbside refuse in the Auckland region? Fifty per cent! So the Council wants to encourage us, first and foremost, to compost and it is proposed that grants will be available for local waste minimisation initiatives. There are proposals for organic waste collection which, if organic waste were separated from the waste destined for landfill, would reduce the amount that the householders would pay for disposer-pays refuse. Now that’s what I call incentive.

And how about those batteries? Either you don’t care and throw them, willy-nilly into the rubbish bin, or you do care, hoard them for six months until the next Hazmobile collection at Smales Farm, find you’ve missed that collection by a week, keep them for another six months and then throw them into the bin. Well, how about this? The Waste Management Plan proposes a scheme to whereby residents can drop off hazardous materials at resource recovery facilities, at their leisure – not just when there is a collection!

Remember those bottles you used to be able to take back to the shop for a refund? There is a plan for Auckland Council to advocate Central Government for the re-introduction of this scheme, known as Container Deposit Legislation or CDL. And if that’s not exciting enough, there’s a plan to dispense with rubbish bags and offer households a choice of a 80 litre, 140 litre or 240 litre wheelie bin which would be emptied fortnightly. The bin could be equipped with a RFID tag – that’s right – your very own radio frequency identification tag which would record the name and address of residents and the credit held in their waste accounts. The resident would be charged according to the number of bin lifts that were made. Oh the perils of such a scheme. How high would it have to be lifted for such a deduction to be made? Would a local larrikin have the strength? Or suppose that larrikin had a friend? Someone needs to say something!

So go to the meeting at the Community House. Download a copy of the plan or pick one up from the library or council offices. It’s got a lovely photo of Devonport on the front cover.

– Rachel McDonnell

1 comment

  1. David says:

    Hi Rachel
    Good on you …great to see some clear intentions being declared regarding our rubbish resource…Yes I do mean ‘resource’…as soon as we view it as such it’s no longer a problem…
    See you at the meeting
    David Noon

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