Draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2023

Submissions closed on 26 April 2023, 05:00 PM

A consultation for draft Waste minimisation plan.

We are reviewing our Waste Management and Minimisation Plan and asked for feedback on what we’re proposing.

In 2022, nearly 14,000 tonnes of material was diverted from landfill in our District. But we still sent just over 55,000 tonnes to Puwera Landfill. This is around 560kgs of waste per resident per year.

This mostly comes from kerbside waste collections, the construction and demolition sector, and industrial or commercial operations.

We believe a lot of this waste could have been reused, recycled, or composted.

We want to work together with our community to reduce the amount of waste being produced and reuse, recover and recycle as much as possible before it ends up in the landfill.

The draft plan contains our vision for reducing and managing waste, the key issues for the Whangārei District, and the actions we plan to take to address these.

Your feedback will help us know if we are on the right track with the plan or not.

Draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2023 - Consultation document(PDF, 1MB)

Feedback closed at 5:00pm on Wednesday 26 April 2023. 

Here is a summary of some key topics from the consultation document:

Why do we need a plan?

Managing waste and ensuring good outcomes for the community can be a complex task. We need to look after the environment, take care of people's health, and make sure that this is done at an acceptable cost to the community. To achieve this, we all need to work together.

Under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 Council must promote effective and efficient waste management and minimisation in the Whangārei District. One of the key ways we do this is by adopting a Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.

Because the rubbish we collect in kerbside collections makes up less than a quarter of all landfilled waste, this Plan covers all solid waste and recovered material in the District, whether it is managed by us or not.

While the Plan is adopted by Council, it sets the priorities and a strategic framework for managing all waste in the District. So, we need input from community and business to ensure success. Once adopted, the actions will be put into our Long Term Plan and Annual Plan to make sure we can achieve them.

What is the current situation?

The chart below shows the breakdown of waste our District sends to landfill as a percentage. By understanding the make-up of our waste we can look for ways to reduce what ends up there.

Organic waste makes up around 23% of all waste going to landfill. This includes both food and garden waste, most of which could be composted.

We also throw away lots of plastic (12%), paper (9%), metal (14%), glass (1%) and timber (25%). When added together this accounts for a further 41%, which could be recycled or recovered in some way.

Other waste categories include construction rubble 11%, textiles 7%, nappies 7%, hazardous waste 1%, and rubber 1%.

A pie chart showing the breakdown of waste our District sends to landfill. Organics 23% which includes food, pet and garden waste, plastic 12%, paper 9%, metals 14%, glass 1%, timber 25%, construction rubble 11%, textiles 7%, nappies 7%, hazardous waste 1% and rubber 1%.

Draft Whangārei District Waste Assessment 2023(PDF, 978KB)

Our vision

Our vision for waste minimisation and management in the Whangārei District is:

To deliver community benefits and work towards zero waste to landfill. Whangārei businesses and households will be provided with efficient and effective waste minimisation and management services that recognise waste as a resource.

Our goals

  • Avoid and reduce waste where we can.
  • Manage waste responsibly - make it easy to recycle and safely dispose of the materials that can’t be recycled.
  • Maximise community benefits - treat waste as a resource, a source of employment, provide multiuse facilities, cost effective services.

Our objectives

  1. Avoid creating waste
  2. Increase the recovery and reuse of resources
  3. Ensure households and businesses have access to safe disposal of waste
  4. Create opportunities for Whangārei District through jobs, new products, more efficient businesses
  5. Reduce illegal dumping
  6. Improve community understanding of issues and opportunities for waste minimisation and management in the Whangārei District.
  7. Have a healthier and wealthier District through waste reduction initiatives and behavioural change.

This Plan uses the waste hierarchy to prioritise our actions. It prioritises producing less waste in the first place, followed by the diversion of waste through reusing, recycling and recovering of waste with safe treatment and disposal as a last resort. Safe treatment and disposal is the final option.

Infographic showing waste hierarchy (from top to bottom). 1 Waste reduction avoid creating waste. 2 Waste diversion reuse, recycle and recovery. Recovery is extraction of materials or energy from waste like compacting, or waste to energy. 3 Waste disposal, treatment and disposal. Treatment is changing waste so that it can be safely disposed of and disposal is the final deposit of waste on land.

Key issues

We need to produce less waste in the first place and encourage those who do produce waste to take greater responsibility for reducing it. We assessed all aspects of waste management across our District and found we could be more efficient and effective in these key areas:

  1. A large amount of compostable and recyclable material including paper, plastics, glass and tin, is still going to the landfill, even with a free kerbside service. This can be improved through education and awareness.
  2. Commercial and construction waste makes up a large proportion of waste disposed of to landfill with limited information on how much of this waste is diverted.
  3. Illegal dumping of waste, along with inappropriate disposal by burning and burying has a negative impact on the environment.
  4. A large amount of organic waste is going to landfill, especially food waste from households. The Government has signalled it may soon introduce mandatory household food waste collections in urban areas to reduce this issue.
  5. A need for improved resource recovery facilities. There are opportunities to target materials for recovery and reuse including e-waste, construction and demolition waste, biosolids and reusable items like furniture.
  6. Use of public litter bins for household rubbish leading to it overflowing and harming the environment. Incorrect use of public recycling bins makes the contents unsuitable for recycling.

How we will do this?

We can’t solve all of these problems on our own. Our role is to facilitate a range of services, education programmes and initiatives to achieve effective and efficient waste management and minimisation within the District.

Action area Action

Infrastructure and service actions

Organic waste

Organic waste diversion - promote:

  • green waste collection services
  • home composting for food and green waste
  • food rescue options for commercial food waste

Waste reduction

Support and promote:

  • waste reduction
  • reusable packaging
  • Food waste initiatives (Love Food, Hate Waste)

Organic waste collection

Investigate kerbside organic waste collection options if required by central government.

Construction & demolition waste

Investigate sorting of construction and demolition waste prior to disposal. In support of construction and demolition waste management plan requirements being implemented by central government.

Public litter and recycling bins

Work with the community on options for litter bins and public recycling bins.

Product Stewardship

Regulated product stewardship is when regulations are used to place responsibilities for managing end-of-life products on producers, importers and retailers rather than on communities, councils, neighbourhoods and nature. We support product stewardship and will work with responsible parties to improve the management of products subject to product stewardship in the District for specific waste streams like e-waste.

Local recovery and processing

Investigate, and if feasible, support additional local processing for waste streams, such as biosolids, construction and demolition waste, e-waste and garden waste.

Local transfer stations

Continue to provide transfer station services for the public and commercial users. Regularly review opening hours, staff training, pricing, layout and traffic management. Provide more reuse and recycling options, and contractor incentives for waste diversion.

Education actions

Clear information

Continue to update and maintain clear information on waste and recycling collection and drop off services in the Whangārei District.

Targeted campaigns

Support the development and use of targeted campaigns for specific waste streams, for example, rural waste, medical waste, construction and demolition waste, event waste and food waste.

Share information widely

Share information to all residents (including holiday makers/temporary residents) on waste minimisation and management including available services.

Waste minimisation education

Maintain our waste minimisation education programme, including education activities for schools, households and businesses.

Illegal dumping

Provide information to the community about the negative impact of illegal dumping and alternatives available to the community (kerbside collection, commercial skip bins and transfer stations).

Policy actions

Waste Minimisation Fund

Continue to make grants available from Council’s allocation of Waste Levy funds. Our Waste Minimisation Fund provides grants for community groups and individuals to carry out waste minimisation projects.

Better data on solid waste

Work with central government to improve data collection for solid waste management.

Annual reporting

Continue to report on progress against the targets in the Plan in Annual Reports.

Collaboration with other agencies/groups

Collaborate with central government, local government organisations, non-government organisations and other key stakeholders to progress national activity on waste minimisation and management policy.

Address illegal dumping

Continue to actively address illegal dumping including identifying offenders and undertaking clean-up activity.

Share resources with other agencies

Liaise with the Northland Regional Council, other district councils, health providers, private and community sectors to identify areas for joint working and resource sharing. Work positively with all sectors and find ways to maximise the contributions of different parties.

How will we pay for these?

When the Plan is adopted by Council, the actions will be included into our Long Term and Annual Plan to ensure that we have the resources to deliver on our goals.

We will continue to adopt a largely user pays approach to delivery of waste transfer and disposal services in the District. Where there are services with a public good component, such as kerbside recycling, we will provide funding in whole or in part.