Posts Tagged ‘rubbish’

Enjoy A Swim At Your Local Beach

Friday, January 11th, 2013 by Admin

Yay its summer, time to go to the beach for a swim or a paddle. For Cantabrians it’s good news. After previous concerns about water quality and whether our beaches were safe to swim in since the quakes, Canterbury beaches have been given the ‘all clear’. The latest Ministry for the Environment recreational water quality report says New Brighton, Sumner and Waimairi are rated “good”, or satisfactory for swimming in most of the time. The best beaches are Taylors Mistake, Spencerville, Woodend and Waikuku which rated “very good”.

School kids picking up rubbish at Waimairi Beach

School kids picking up rubbish at Waimairi Beach

Beach clean ups, like the recent one at Waimairi pictured above, have a profoundly positive effect on our beaches, particularly for the fish and bird life who call our coastlines home.

One organisation focussed on cleaning up New Zealand beaches is Sustainable Coastlines created by Sam Judd and James Bailey. The pair were motivated to start up the organisation after seeing first hand the impact rubbish had on marine life during a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Since 2008 Sustainable Coastlines has organised volunteers to remove rubbish from coastlines around New Zealand and the Pacific, raising awareness about the challenges our marine environments face and giving people easy solutions for looking after our beaches.

One of their projects, Love your Coast, involved 5,500 people and resulted in tonnes of rubbish being removed from Kiwi beaches along with creating a free event planning tool to guide people running their own coastal clean-up. Such an event is a great idea for schools as it enables kids to gain first hand knowledge of the impact rubbish has on the environment and ways in which we can reduce this.

Sustainable Coastlines campaign "What goes around comes around"

Sustainable Coastlines campaign "What goes around comes around"

One particular Sustainable Coastlines campaign “What goes around comes around” beautifully illustrates the effect rubbish has on our marine life and how it affects what food we eat. The graphic above shows the cycle of pollution. When we litter it has a massive impact on ocean life with litter flowing through our drains out to sea, polluting waterways and ultimately affecting our seafood. Over time ocean waves and the sun break plastic into smaller pieces which float in the sea, accumulating chemicals. For sea life these fragments of litter look yummy and therefore get eaten, thus entering the food chain and polluting our seafood. In summary; we’re eating our own rubbish!

So let’s be vigilant about putting our rubbish in bins only or when we’re at the beach, take your rubbish home. That way you’ll get the maximum enjoyment out your summer and your local beach!

Image from:

Image from:

Friday Favourites: Computer games for Good

Friday, April 27th, 2012 by Admin

On this rainy Friday afternoon as I was flicking through the magazine put out by WasteMINZ my day was suddenly made just a wee bit brighter.

Amid all the doom and gloom of the world is wasting x product at ridiculous levels I came across a small feature article on something a little bit cool, a little bit different and that most definitely brightened my day: Educational computer games.

Try it... I dare you!

Try it... I dare you!

I did a little bit of research and the game that I played (briefly of course!) was called ” Michael, Michael, Go Recycle! .” Highly addictive, in this game (designed, I’ll admit, for kids) you run around picking up various types of rubbish and then deposit them into various recycling and rubbish bins. You get points for the more you recycle and you have to think about what you have collected and what bin it should go into.

So if are you sitting at home playing with a kid and you want to teach them about recycling or if you are at work and want just a little bit of entertainment to fill in your Friday, check it out at!

Friday Favourites

Friday, June 3rd, 2011 by Admin
Les Mees Solar Farm France Source: The Guardian (Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images)

Les Mees Solar Farm France Source: The Guardian (Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images)

This is the first list of Friday Favourites for June – lots of interesting links to peruse over Queen’s Birthday weekend:

TV3 Rubbish Story

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 by Admin

TV3 Rubbish Story Jessica Rowe

Spotted this news story on TV3 the other night from Jessica Rowe (who interviewed me for the Agpac Plasback story in the new year (but I didn’t make it on screen!)). The amount of perishable goods in stores in the buildings that still have not been or can not be accessed are probably long past their expiry date and without power to keep them cool they will be long past their smelling okay date too. There is a lot of mixed waste going to landfill that just can’t be separated – demolition waste mixed with organics and general rubbish mixed with householder organics. It is just another step on the road to recovery for Christchurch.

The story does have a rat focus (which in itself is interesting) but it does highlight the probably amount of rubbish that is sitting in the middle of the CBD and has been since the earthquake.

Fears rats could take over CBD text

Video Link

Information & Links from

First Friday Favourites for August

Friday, August 6th, 2010 by Admin

Beautful and practical reuse of a Mason jar from Re-Nest

Beautful and practical reuse of a Mason jar from Re-Nest

Happy August! Apparently there are only 145 days till Christmas – it’s way too early to be thinking about Christmas (and the waste produced from it) but not too early to be thinking about warmer temperatures of spring and summer.

Here are our favourites links that we have found:

Enjoy a waste free weekend.

New Christchurch Waste Statistics

Monday, August 2nd, 2010 by Admin
Total ChCh Rubbish Sent to Landfill 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010

Total ChCh Rubbish Sent to Landfill 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010

Have you seen the new Waste Statistics page on the Christchurch City Council website?

The web page shows the following for the 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010 year*:

  • Organics collected from kerbside green bins – that’s a mix of garden waste and kitchen waste – approx 8kg per person per month (average) or approx 47,000 tonnes. It all goes here.
  • Mixed recyclables collected from kerbside yellow bins – an average of approx 4kg paper and cardboard per person per month, approx 0.25kg of metals per person per month, approx 3kg of glass per person per month and approx 500g of plastic per person per month (on average). That’s a total of approx 41,000 tonnes of mixed recyclables collected for the year to June 30 2010. Mixed recyclables get processed here.
  • The amount of rubbish collected from the red kerbside bins was approx 8kg per person per month or approx 37,000 tonnes total for the year.
  • Both the amount of organics and recyclables are up but so is rubbish (from kerbside) – we are still producing more rubbish that is not recovered.
  • But the total amount of total rubbish sent to Kate Valley Landfill (from kerbside wheelie bins, transfer stations and private and commercial waste operators) has dropped again this year to approx 170,000 tonnes down from 220,000 tonnes in 2009. This is great new  but means we will need to update the waste counter on our website!
  • Another important point to note from the waste statistics page is that it states that the Council will be carrying out a survey into the specifics of the waste still being disposed of as rubbish at transfer stations or going into the red wheelie bin. This will be important information as the more we now about what people are throwing away the more education can be tailored or new solutions found.

If you live outside of Christchurch in any of the other Canterbury districts contact your local district council for more information on the waste produced and going to landfill from your area or check out their websites:

  • Timaru District’s waste here.
  • Selwyn District’s waste here.
  • Waimakariri District’s waste here.
  • Ashburton District’s waste here.
  • Hurunui District’s waste here.
  • MacKenzie District’s waste here.
  • Kaikoura Districts’ waste here.

*All numbers are approximations based on reading the CCC graphs from the webpage not actual numbers.

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 by Admin



Last week I posted about reducing waste to landfill through better work waste management systems and asked our readers to send in their new/innovative/creative waste management systems in their offices. My sister-in law happened across the blog post (cos’ she follows us on Twitter here too) and sent in the above photos and the following comment:

“At my workplace we have recently implemented a strategy which Crown Research Institutes have been doing for a while. In your office you get a large cardboard tray for recycling and a tiny wee box for rubbish. Then you have to empty these yourselves at one of the depots. Unfortunately we don’t currently have a strategy for organics, so the depots only have landfill, glass/plastic, and paper/cardboard. The cleaners no longer empty bins in our offices and only empty these larger communal bins.”

Thanks Nicola. This is a great example of in-office waste managment.

New Rubbish Free website

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 by Admin


Back in 2008 former Christchurch couple Waveney Warth and Matthew Luxon decided to live rubbish free for a year in order to reduce their impact on the environment. Their trials, tribulations, truths and learnings were all documented on their blog and it was really inspiring to read what they were up to and how they were making it work. And they did make it work.

They have just launched a new website with all the resources the rest of us need in order to go rubbish free. We are definitely going to pick up one of their guides and I have been looking to find an alternative to plastic wrap and they have them. Yay! Really excited for them.

You can check out the new website here.

This website is definitely going in the favourites tab!

Waimakariri District profile and some Friday Favourites

Friday, May 28th, 2010 by Admin
Waimakaririr River Source:

Waimakaririr River Source:

A productive (but rainy) week this week. As well as progressing a number of projects SIFT also spent some time meeting a some more people who work with waste and waste minimisation in Christchurch and Canterbury. Notably I met with the Solid Waste Asset Manager, Kitty Waghorn, from the Waimakariri District Council and learnt all about the waste systems in place for that district. They have two transfer stations – Southbrook and Oxford and have big plans for a new Resource Recovery Park at the Southbrook station as well as expanding into organics (they promote the use of home composting and you can pick up an EM Bokashi system from Waimakariri District Council Service Centre) and providing a recycling solution for the rural residents of the district. Southbrook transfer station includes a Resell shed which they are also looking to expand in order to reduce the amount of rubbish that is sent to Kate Valley Landfill. They will also be launching a Hazardous Waste drop off point in July. And the general outlook for waste reduction in this district is positive with an increase in the amount of recyclables being collected and a reduction in rubbish.

You can find more information on Waste and Recycling for the Waimakariri District here.

Here are the interesting links for this week:

Thousands enjoy ASB Classical Sparks but bring a lot of waste too.

Monday, February 8th, 2010 by Admin

ASB Classical Sparks

Last Friday the Christchurch City Council put on one of the favourite events of the Summertimes festival, the ASB Classical Sparks. Classical music, a picnic and some fireworks brought between 80,000 and 100,000 Cantabrians to North Hagley park. But, that also brought a mammoth amount of rubbish as well. People brought their own picnics with varying degrees of preparedness and others were able to purchase food onsite.

Being a waste minded person I was a little worried about what would be on offer for festival goers in the way of waste disposal but, the City Council had the waste logistics covered. All around North Hagley park there were the recognisable Christchurch City waste bins – yellow for recycling, red for rubbish to landfill and green for food waste. It was great to see these waste depots dotted around for easier access. As well as being told by the emcee about how to dispose of rubbish (and even told to take it home with you) there were also city council events people standing next to each depot to help event goers put the right rubbish in the right bin. An excellent opportunity to increase a population’s knowledge (and therefore change their behaviour) of how to dispose of their waste in the right way.

It is hoped that every event provides easy access for people to dispose of their waste appropriately or even better events become zero waste.

Regardless of the waste element a great night was had by all.