Massey University and the Palmerston North City Council will today re-sign a 10-year-old agreement aimed at reducing waste through recycling and innovative research and teaching.
The Zero Waste Academy, established in 2002, was a collaborative initiative between the Zero Waste New Zealand Trust, Massey and the Council.
Although the trust, a national environmental campaign, was wound up two years ago, Massey and the Council say the role of the academy remains relevant. The academy helps link the city, the recycling industry and the university's research and teaching community. Its role involves teaching, research, providing advice and the development of New Zealand Qualifications Authority training for the recycling industry.
Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor says the academy has provided a platform for focussed engagement between the city and the university as institutions with a mutual interest in economic, social and environmental sustainability. A central theme is collaboration and sharing knowledge and experience in support of achieving respective environmental strategic goals.
University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says in the past decade much has been but much has also changed and Massey and the Council have determined that it is in the interests of both parties to review and update the engagement model so it is strongly future focussed.
The academy is led by Jonathon Hannon, a staff member at Massey's Institute of Natural Resources. He says ideas behind the original agreement have been reworked based on what has been learned and what the stakeholders now want.
"In simple terms, much of the original shared objectives agreement remains," Mr Hannon says. "However, the outcomes have been refocused around drawing on Massey's research and advisory capacity to meet the PNCC's information needs."
"The long-term challenge of implementing the Council's Waste Minimisation and Management Plan generates a range of information needs, which are an ideal focus for Massey staff and student research. A research 'menu' is in development, so that staff and student researchers can be oriented toward these real world problem solving projects."
"However, the throw-away society developed over several generations and it will take decades to engineer the change in awareness, values, behaviour and infrastructure for our society to fully maximise resources and to minimise waste."
To mark the redesigned Zero Waste Academy, a renewed memorandum of understanding between the University and the Council will be re-signed after a brief presentation about the future vision for the academy and the outcomes expected of it.
Where: Missoula Room at the Palmerston North City Council
When: Monday, October 29 at 10.30am