Kerbside rubbish bag audit


2016-06-14T12:17:00 Pacific/Auckland


The messy task of sorting and categorizing over half a ton of waste from Taumarunui pink kerbside rubbish bags is providing important information to assist in managing Ruapehu’s waste streams.

Ruapehu District Council Waste Minimisation Officer Daniel Allen said that the waste audit sorted through over 100 kerbside rubbish bags in order to provide insights into what people are throwing away with the goal of decreasing the amount of waste going to landfill.

“With the Resource Consent on the landfill in Taumarunui due to expire presenting the possibility that all waste will need to be shipped outside the district it is vital that we are able to develop strategies for waste minimisation and diversion for Ruapehu,” he said.

“The audit saw the contents of every bag sorted into one of 12 primary categories of either; paper, plastics, putrescibles (compost or green waste), ferrous and nonferrous metals, glass, textiles, nappies and sanitary, rubble and concrete, timber, rubber and potentially hazardous waste.”

“The data is then analysed and compared to previous audits to determine if our waste minimization strategies are succeeding and where we need to focus education and other efforts.”

“We were pleased to find that Taumarunui residents are conscientious recyclers with less than one percent of things going into pink bags being recyclable material.”

“The largest category of waste is plastics 3-7 (35.9%) followed by food/compostable material (20.5%) and disposable nappies (18.8%).”

“Unfortunately plastics 3-7 are not currently cost effective to recycle and we would like to see the government and industry to lead changes in this area.”

“In the meantime, the best course of action we have is to encourage consumers to try to only purchase products using recyclable plastics 1 and 2.”

“With food waste and nappies we recommend composting and cloth nappies respectively.”

“The audit also found that a reasonably large volume of textiles (12%) are being thrown out and we’d like to remind residents to take unwanted usable clothes to one of the local op-shops.”

Mr. Allen noted that the cost of waste disposal either through pink kerbside bags, rates or paying at the landfill was not getting any cheaper and that it was in everyone’s financial interest to do all we can to compost, reduce, reuse and recycle before throwing out as refuse.


Page reviewed: 14 Jun 2016 12:17pm