Reduce Waste, Create Jobs & Engage Your Community
The ZWN manifesto has three areas of focus:
- Stronger Communities
- Real Recycling
- Effective Product Stewardship
The global economic downturn challenges us all to shift beyond the ‘business-as-usual’ approach that has driven rising waste volumes, lifted unemployment levels and weakened local economies. We are slowly coming to accept that we live in a finite world. Governments, councils, businesses and communities have an opportunity to build a more resourceful New Zealand. As a country we can show leadership, and invest in innovation, by working together to develop a more resourceful approach to providing for our wants and needs.
Community enterprise is a tool that enables communities to turn global challenges into local opportunities. Our community focused business model uses recycling and reuse as a vehicle to deliver on broader social, economic and environmental outcomes.
Community recyclers reduce waste, create employment and strengthen communities. Since 1989 we’ve used wasted resources to create jobs, opportunities and local economic development.
We provide work and training opportunities, keep money going around in local economies and make second hand goods available to people. We protect our environment by conserving materials and energy and recovering hazardous products. We engage people in new activities and introduce new ways of thinking.
Waste is a social problem Winning people’s hearts and minds is the key to waste reduction. Technical solutions can only take us part of the way. Communities are resourceful; they have the potential to solve many of their own problems.
Successful waste reduction goes hand in hand with community empowerment and capacity building.
Click here to download a PDF version of the ‘ZWN Manifesto’
Turning Challenges into Opportunities
Community recyclers generate revenue through sales, services, contracts and projects. We put 80c of every dollar we receive straight back into our local economies. We provide meaningful work for all kinds of people, including some of the most vulnerable members of society, helping to grow safe, inclusive and healthy communities. We share sustainability and wellbeing goals with communities, councils and government. We also develop innovative community engagement programmes like Para Kore marae recycling, and the Unpackit Packaging Awards
Challenge: The recycling contracts that were our bread and butter revenue are being awarded to large national and international recycling and waste companies. This leaves us working on the geographical, social and economic margins.
Solution: Public spending for public benefit. Procurement processes that are based on best value rather than least cost are able to take into account social, economic and environmental value.
Click here to download a PDF version of the ‘Stronger Communities’ Info Sheet
People recycle because they want to lead more sustainable lives. Businesses want to deliver on their clean, green promises. Government and councils want to enhance wellbeing. Recycling makes sense when the materials collected become high quality feedstock for re-processors, substituted for virgin material and energy in new products.
Challenge: Across New Zealand ‘commingled’ wheelie bin recycling collections are replacing source separated systems. US and UK evidence shows commingling uses more energy, results in higher contamination and cross-contamination rates, exposes councils and business to risk and maintains the status quo rather than driving behaviour change.
Solution: Minimum standards for commercial and household recycling. Procurement focused on outcomes rather than throughput. Target waste reduction and high recycling rates. Deliver clean, quality product. Support onshore re-processors who value add. Prioritise job creation over capital investment. Invest in community engagement.
Click here to download a PDF of the ‘Real Recycling’ info sheet
Effective Product Stewardship
New Zealand is lagging behind our trading partners when it comes to implementing effective product stewardship programmes. Successive governments have passed the buck. Our Waste Minimisation Act contains the provisions we need and the Australians are giving us a clear path to follow. Their co-regulatory approach has been accepted by industry for e-waste and is being explored for packaging.
Challenge: Weak feedback loops between players in the supply and recovery chain. Green wash claims confuse consumers and damage brands. People need better information to choose wisely. Taxpayers and ratepayers foot the bill when there are fairer ways to allocate cost. Partial product stewardship schemes don’t deal with free riders.
Solution: Work together to build the operational and regulatory frameworks we need. Implement the product stewardship provisions of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, putting in place effective product stewardship programmes for both priority and non-priority products.
Click here to download a PDF version of the ‘Effective Product Stewardship’ Info Sheet