By Deputy Mayor and Franklin Ward Councillor, Bill Cashmore.
Waste, Rubbish and Recycling.
Auckland creates mountains of rubbish each year. How will Council deal with this? Our new waste strategy aims to have zero waste in our landfills by 2040. It’s a tough ask, but I reckon we can do it.
We are rolling out a new three-bin system, which will manage household recycling, food waste and general waste, progressively over the next few years to the urban areas. Franklin urban areas will have the new service by 2021. The service is user pays and not subsidised by the ratepayer.
Franklin residents pay a set charge on their rates account to use our nearby landfills. This raises issues around fairness between those who use the landfills a lot and those who don’t. Once the new three-bin service is rolled out, we will switch to a pay as you throw charge. Currently, the areas of Auckland who have new user pays service, purchase a tag for general waste, which they attach to their bin prior to taking it curb side. This is the red top bin.
Recycling is funded through a rate funded standard charge and is collected fortnightly. Some residents fill up their yellow bin and others less so. The more material we can divert from landfills to recycling means more positive outcomes for the natural environment and economy.
Food waste makes up 40 per cent of an average household red top landfill bin. By using the food waste bin, the amount of waste going to our landfills will be significantly reduced. So, the cost of $67 per year or around $1.20 per week can largely be recouped by reducing the number of times you will need to wheel your red top bin to the kerbside.
Where will the food waste go? To make the food waste processing business work, there needs to be certainty of product and financial certainty. We are exploring options that will benefit communities and local businesses. Several examples of local businesses and the Council dealing with food waste around Auckland already exist. What needs to happen is a significant scaling up of business to manage the increase in food waste we will see from the shift from landfills to food waste processing. Council is not subsidising private businesses but is working in a collaborative and transparent manner to ensure the best cost-effective outcome for ratepayers. At the end of the day a 40% reduction in household waste to landfill is a great outcome for our communities.
Many of you will have read about the recycled product that is no longer being accepted by China. We are working with our contractors to find solutions in New Zealand or Australia. As the issue is nationwide, the Government needs to be involved. There also needs to be discussions with the Government about the Landfill Levy; particularly, how much that should be per tonne to get the best nationwide outcome. Further discussions need to be had about a container deposit scheme where there is a refund per bottle can or container to discourage tipping and waste creation as well as a product stewardship program, where products such as tyres are recycled rather than dumped.Since you’re here… we have a small favour to ask. More and more people want the Post than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Post’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. With investigative reporting, we often don't know at the beginning how a story will unfold and how long it might take to uncover. This can mean it is costly – particularly as we often face legal threats that attempt to stop our reporting. But we remain committed to raising important questions and exposing wrongdoing. And we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as NZ$5, you can support the Post – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Post