As wheelie bins allocated to different types of waste are appearing throughout the country, it is becoming increasingly obvious that separating and treating our various types of waste correctly could have a major impact on the amount of waste that is, well, wasted instead of used constructively.
In Canterbury, we now have three bins dedicated to separating waste and enabling more efficient waste collection , and Auckland has just got the ‘yellow’ recycling bin, which means for the most part we can effectively separate our waste.
However, some places in New Zealand, such as Greymouth, West Coast, have not yet implemented a kerbside collection service , which is resulting in large amounts of unnecessary waste still going to landfills. Statistics New Zealand has produced data which indicates just how much waste New Zealand is sending to landfills every year, which shows just how important waste minimization initiatives are!
With such high levels of waste going to landfills, as a country we surely have room for improvement to ensure that as much waste is recycled as possible. Smaller communities need to implement some level of kerbside collection, which can be grown to a greater scale at later dates, as residents become more aware of the benefits of recycling.
Meanwhile, larger communities, such as Christchurch City and Auckland, which already have established kerbside collection systems could further expand their systems.
WasteMINZ detailed a report related to the benefit of separating household waste in their recent magazine, which states:
“without food scraps in the household rubbish, waste volumes become substantially smaller with less smell, allowing less frequent collection (which is good becomes it minimises carbon emission caused by waste collections). By not co-mingling food and garden waste, contamination is reduced and the amount of garden waste drawn into the system is controlled, enabling more efficient and cheaper processing into high quality compost.”
This highlights the importance of trying to minimize our waste and attempting to separate our waste correctly so it can be used in the most efficient, effective manner. The difference between separating food scraps from rubbish or recycling is the difference between sending your useable waste to the landfill or actually putting it to good use. To find more about food waste collection, you can watch a video which outlines the findings in the test community of Putaruru, which is what WasteMINZ was discussing in their newsletter.
For now, while these kerbside collection schemes are still taking off around the country, you can always start a separation scheme at your own home, building a worm farm out of food waste and collecting garden waste to make compost to revitalize your home garden. And you can make sure to put the right waste into the right bin!