Central Otago business' get behind minimising waste

Thursday 20 October 2011, 1:44PM
By Central Otago District Council


The proposed Central Otago Waste Minimisation and Management Plan, (WMMP) highlights how businesses in the District have got behind waste reduction.

“Waste generation is often connected with economic growth, but businesses in Central Otago have bucked this trend. Even during the recent period of economic growth, the amount of rubbish sent to landfill from commercial businesses has continued to fall”, said CODC Waste Minimisation Officer Sophie Mander.

“The reductions are due in part to the user pays policy for disposal of waste at the transfer stations, making businesses think twice about throwing things away, because they know how much it costs. Before user pays, when it was subsidised in the general rates, the true cost wasn’t known so there was less incentive to reduce waste. Now there are lots of businesses that have committed to the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ way of thinking and some businesses have been really particularly keen on waste reduction”.

Central Otago WasteBusters offers a commercial recycling collection service across the District. Manager Brian Fitzgerald said that “More and more businesses are realising that it makes both economic and environmental sense to minimise waste and recycle packaging material. An increasing proportion of paper, cardboard and plastics come from businesses who have taken the time to sort out their in-house recycling systems. A recycling pick up from CO WasteBusters is much cheaper than sending it to the dump and business operators are starting to realise it’s not that hard to sort it out”.

Central Otago’s Sustainable Living Facilitator Steve Brown suggests businesses can start improving their bottom line by having a good look at what they are throwing out. “The easiest way for a business to start is with a waste audit. The business then needs to set goals, allocate responsibility, time and support, and involve all employees at every level of the organisation. If your business is interested in learning more about waste audits we can help. Start with the basics; do you know the total cost of your company’s waste disposal? Do you know where the waste is generated in your company?”

The proposed Waste Minimsation and Management Plan highlights that business’ are beginning this journey but there is still more that can be achieved. For more information on waste audits please contact Steve Brown at COREAP (03 448 6115).

The proposed Waste Minimisation and Management Plan, Summary of Information and Statement of Proposal is available online www.codc.govt.nz or at Council offices and service centres.

Submissions on the Plan can be made by post or email. Submissions close 18 November 2011 and submissions will be heard on 14 December 2011.