Last week we attended the WasteMinz Workshops held in Auckland. It was a great turn out and we met lots of new people and caught up with acquaintances from the Waste industry. Here are some of the highlights from the workshops:
Lisa Smith from Minds At Work (based in Melbourne) took the Behaviour Change work stream for the two days. I did the first day and learnt a lot about new ways of thinking, idea generation and just how stuck in the box we can be. Lisa is super energetic and a really great presenter making it fun and informative at the same time. We need to spend time generating ideas in order to be innovative and be able to move forward and we don’t spend enough time generating ideas and just thinking. And it needs to be more fun!
Part of the workshops were about making a plan for zero waste – how were we going to do it. This involved working through her process for idea generation, developing the design of the good ideas, Evaulating those ideas and then putting the best one into action. It really highlighted how we all think and act very differently – some of us are dreamers while others are doers! And we just need practice doing those bits we are not so proficient at. As part of behaviour change we looked at why people don’t change and then at the end of the two days she gave us the top 10 myths of behaviour change. This really was only a taster at sequence thinking and how we can help change people’s behaviour but it was good first look.
- “Any piece of work must start with the joyous explosion of ideas.”
- “Thinking inside the box constrains our ideas.”
- “Assumptions and convenience limits thinking.”
- “Fear is the biggest constraint…to change.”
- “We tend not to check the boundaries but just assume they are there…bust those assumptions.”
- “If you capture an idea and design it at the same time then that’s all it can be.”
- “If you stop one idea from coming you might stop the twenty after it.”
- “The key is to think about how you need to be thinking.”
On the second day of the workshops I needed to broaden my waste knowledge so did those instead of continuing on with Lisa and the Behaviour Change workshops. Here are some of the highlights:
The Community Recycling Network launched their campaign for Real Recycling – the current sytem of recycling will not get the country to where it needs to be. There is too much contamination and we need to work towards effective, efficient and valuable recycling (”How many materials can you mix together before it becomes “rubbish”?”). We also need to create recycling systems that are “fit for purpose”- a massive MRF may not suit a small, rural town. Sue Coutts from the Community Recycling Network stated that we need collaboration and shared goals, quality feedstock, secure markets, self reliance, on shore processing, transparency, better reporting (there are big data gaps) and the all important (but severly lacking) audit trail (where is our waste going) – we totally agree with all of that. We also need to look at the whole life costs associated with a form of recycling. I think the best quote from Sue was “the education of the system has a greater impact then the nature of the system. People do care and want to be apart of a better world.”
John Webber from the Glass Packaging Forum then discussed their move to develop a Glass Product Stewardship Scheme with the ultimate objective of zero glass waste to landfill. The recovery of glass is 69% nationwide currently.
Judi Burgess from TransPacific Industries (TPI) then presented the process from start to finish of developing and implementing the 3 Bin system now being used in Christchurch City. This was very interesting. It took about 2 years and there are 468,000 bins and 50 trucks – a lot of logistics to organise. They found that they had issues with delivery the bins the first time (getting stuck with the annual A&P Show timings), issues around whether to give a small bin option, the size and shape of the labels, truck branding and signage and staffing. Completing a full stakeholder analysis enabled them to understand who the customer was and who needed to help make it happen.
Spring Humphries from Fonterra did a presentation on the recycling they set up at their various sites. They went from producing 18,000 tonnes of rubbish to 5000 tonnes of rubbish and have (since 2003/2004) recovered 28,000 tonnes of cardboard.
CEO of WasteMinz Marion Short gave an inforamative presentation on how to build good long term relationships – align with the other party’s values and strategy, be collaborative, be solutions outcome focussed and remember to keep your stakeholders informed.
Sue Coutt’s put on her other hat as Wanaka Waste Busters and talked to us about what we can do to fundamentally make a difference. Some (very relevant) quotes from her include:
- “Make a shift from organising the problems to fundamentally healing them.”
- “Run businesses as if people and the planet mattered.”
- “Viability is not just about cash flow but the capacity to deliver.”
- “Every decision should take into account sustainability.”
- “We need to train the children of today to be able to live in their world.”
If last week’s WasteMinz Workshops are anything to go by then the big conference in October is going to be great fun, productive and highly informative. Thanks to the team at WasteMinz for putting together the workshops. It is a valuable way to meet new people from the industry and stay informed with what is going on.