Waste Management and Minimisation Plan

The three Eastern Waikato Councils, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako and Thames-Coromandel, have joined together to produce a Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP).

This website gives a brief outline of what the plan covers.

Why do we need a plan for waste?

By law, every Council has to produce a plan to say how they are going to manage their waste. The official term for the plan is a Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP). We drafted our plan in 2012, and it was reviewed and adopted in June 2017.

The three districts together send approximately 37,500 tonnes of rubbish to landfill each year, while we recycle and compost about half as much – nearly 19,000 tonnes.

The waste and recycling is managed in different ways – some comes from households and some from businesses. Some is picked up as part of Council or private collections, other waste is taken to transfer stations or direct to landfill.

While we are doing a lot of recycling, we could be doing more.

If we can find ways to get this recycling and compostable material out of the rubbish, then we can save costs on the amount we send to landfill and reduce our environmental impact by recycling or composting these materials instead.

We also need to manage our waste in ways that are cost effective and that protect the health of our communities. 

What does the plan cover?

The plan covers all of the solid waste that we produce in our districts including material that is recycled or composted.

It covers not just the waste and recycling that the Councils collect or manage through our transfer stations but also what businesses and private operators collect, process and dispose of.

What are the key issues?

Based on the work we have undertaken the Councils believe that the key issues for the districts are:

  • Landfill disposal costs will rise
  • We need to produce less waste in the first place - and encourage those who do produce waste to take greater responsibility for reducing it
  • Recyclable materials are still being thrown in to rubbish bins even with a recycling collection available
  • We need to be aware of markets for recycled materials and how this may affect the affordability of recycling services
  • A large proportion of waste going to landfill is organic waste – this is a particular problem due to the negative environmental impacts
  • A need for more/improved facilities for managing waste within the region
  • Varying demand through the region – summer visitors, rural customers, businesses
  • A lack of data on waste flows and composition in the districts – particularly for waste and recovered materials managed by the private sector
  • There are opportunities to target materials for recovery and reuse, including electronic waste, construction and demolition waste, and re-usable items, like furniture

What progress have we made in the last six years?

  • We’ve investigated the provision of a kerbside food waste collection. It is not currently viable however we may consider introducing this in Eastern Waikato depending on the outcome of trials in Auckland
  • We’ve increased the number of drop-off facilities for waste and recycling in the Thames-Coromandel area where demand is highest
  • We’ve introduced wheeled bins for recycling, which has increased the quantity of material recycled
  • We’ve supported the `Love Food, Hate Waste’ campaign, which aims to reduce the amount of food waste generated
  • We’ve rolled out waste education initiatives to schools and preschools

The next six years: Our proposals to manage our waste

1. Our overarching vision, goals and targets remain similar to those in our current plan

Vision: To minimise waste to landfill and maximise community benefit

Goals: To actively promote waste reduction

           To increase the recovery and reuse of resources

           To maintain cost-effective sustainable waste services

           To minimise harm to the environment and public health

Targets: 13% reduction in the total quantity of waste sent to landfills by 2020

            5% reduction in kerbside waste by 2022

2. Existing services will continue and we’ll investigate new ways to divert waste from landfill

  • The current weekly kerbside collection based on user pay bags will continue. User pay bags help incentivise recycling
  • Options for reducing bag volume will be investigated
  • Options for providing subsidised rubbish bags to target groups e.g. food banks, will be investigated
  • Depending on demand, we may extend kerbside collection services to areas not currently covered

3. We’ll continue to work closely with community groups, schools, and the business community to achieve goals, encourage participation, and provide educational opportunities about the benefits of waste minimisation

  • We’re investigating options for business and rural waste collection
  • We’re working with other groups to provide information to schools and the community on home composting, food waste prevention and other waste prevention
  • We’re considering providing a subsided rate for disposal of rubbish left at charity second hand shops
  • We’re encouraging and supporting Waikato District Health Board in the management of medical waste within the districts

Read the WMMP (pdf, 1.9MB)