Matamata-Piako Waste Minimisation and Management Plan (WMMP)
The way New Zealand manages waste is constantly changing and that’s because it’s getting harder to manage the amount and types of rubbish we need to dispose of.
Historically we have been sending the majority of our recyclables overseas, with over 50 percent just going to China. In 2018 China enacted its National Sword policy, banning contaminated recycling coming in to their country and polluting waste streams.
This created huge changes within the New Zealand recycling industry. Councils across the country, including us, removed the collection of plastics three-through-to seven from their kerbside service, focusing only on high demand plastics one and two. Without any way for New Zealand to reuse, repurpose or recycle plastics three-through-to-seven, they are heading for landfill.
This has increased costs for how rubbish is managed on a national scale. The waste levy - tax for waste disposal and the emissions trading scheme – the Governments targets for reducing our country’s emissions footprint, are two factors that will increase collection costs within our district, starting from the next financial year (June 2021).
With the Tirohia landfill closing in 2038, there will be increased costs with how our rubbish is disposed of, due to it having to go to a landfill further away.
A Waste Minimisation and Management Plan (WMMP) gives us direction for how we, as a district, can reduce waste headed for landfill. The plan isn’t about making things harder for people at home through increased disposal costs, but making everyone smarter about the rubbish coming into their home and considering how it will be managed at the end of its life.
In 2019-20 Matamata-Piako sent 12,710 tonnes of waste to landfill, including waste collected by industry, commercial and private contractors. The volume of waste has not increased dramatically in 10 years, nor is it minimising, but we are following a nationwide and global trend of recycling less.
For residential collections, food waste made up 38% of all rubbish we throw away. To put that into perspective, that’s 66 tonnes of organic and kitchen waste per week or 3,400 tonnes (the weight of 30 blue whales) per year! Food waste is avoidable through simple at home practices such as composting, bokashi bins, worm farming and smarter meal planning – most of which the whole family can get involved with.
We know we need to do better and that’s why food waste is one of the focuses for our draft Waste Minimisation and Management Plan (WMMP) and why we have proposed a food collection option as part of the proposed new service in 2023 which you can have your say on now as part of the Long Term Plan.
To offset this, we have proposed a vison of a zero waste, zero carbon future by 2038, when Tirohia closes. Adopting a zero waste attitude will mean that even though we may need to pay more to send rubbish further away, we are generating less through waste minimisation and diversion activities.
What does the draft WMMP mean for:
Currently those who receive the kerbside service pay $41 in their rates per year, plus $3 per bag for their rubbish bags ($156 per year if you buy one bag per week).
We’re proposing to increase the targeted rate to $131 per year in 2021/22 to help cover the increasing costs of this service, as explained above, and residents would continue to buy rubbish bags. The current rubbish and recycling service would still continue until 2023 – this increase is just to cover the rising costs, so we can pay the bill.
The rubbish and recycling rate would then increase again in 2023 to around $328 per year to cover the costs of the new service. While this is a big jump, residents would no longer need to buy rubbish bags ($156 if you buy one bag per week) - so the money you’d usually spend on these at the supermarket would go towards your rates instead. You would also receive a food waste collection.
All households eligible for the kerbside collection service would be charged this targeted rate – regardless of whether or not they choose to use the service. This means anyone using a private collection service may decide not to continue with this, depending on their needs. We won’t be able to confirm the exact costs of this option until we’ve gone through a tender process for a new contract so we’ve based our budgeting on similar changes in other areas and expert advice.
Last year we asked for your feedback on our proposal for the new kerbside service from 2023. You can read through the challenges and our proposal here and have your say.
|Marissa van Eyk