As discussed in a recent blog post, hazardous waste is any waste that poses a risk to people and/or the environment. Here are some statistics on hazardous waste within New Zealand and an already existing initiative, Hazmobile, which helps communities in Auckland dispose of their household hazardous waste.
In 2007-2008, the Ministry for the Environment surveyed four national landfill sites and presented the waste composition figures. Potentially hazardous waste came in at a high 14% of the waste surveyed -that is a massive amount, considering that in 2006 alone, an estimated 3.156million tonnes of waste went to landfill! More here.
New Zealand is held under the jurisdictions of the Basel Convention, which governs which wastes require permits in regards to importation/exportation.
Exporting: In New Zealand, there are currently thirteen permits which have been issued to companies operating within New Zealand to export hazardous waste. The types of hazardous waste range from printer toner to lamps containing mercury. Between these companies, there is permit to import a total of over 30,000 tonnes of waste!
Importing: Currently there are 24 permits that have been issued to companies operating within New Zealand to import hazardous waste. Ranging from oil to construction wastes, the companies are permitted to export a total of just under 10,000 tonnes! A full list of importers/exporters here.
Hazmobile: Hazmobile is a free service for householders wishing to safely dispose of hazardous waste including: oils, chemicals, batteries and solvents. The Hazmobile operates throughout Northland area with specific collection dates within communities and several permanent drop-off facilities. The waste is disposed of safely and recycled wherever possible. To date, Hazmobile has collected over one thousand loads of hazardous waste! Read more about Hazmobile.