The Zero Waste Network Aotearoa has welcomed funding to upgrade recycling facilities and a recommendation to standardise materials collected through kerbside recycling.
Chair Marty Hoffart said the investment in resource recovery and proposed standardisation of recycling with more separated collections would help drive the shift to a circular economy.
The Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage today announced $36.7m in funding to upgrade seven high-tech recycling plants. A report Standardising kerbside collections in Aotearoa prepared for the Ministry for the Environment was also released.
Mr Hoffart said the problems within kerbside collections are well-known including contamination and confusion about what can be recycled.
“It’s just plain silly to have so many different rules about what goes in kerbside bins throughout our very small country. Standardisation will reduce contamination costs and help households to use their bins more effectively.”
“The report also addresses the Zero Waste Network’s longstanding concern about glass collected in commingled kerbside recycling bins, by incentivising councils to collect glass separately.
Mr Hoffart said investing in resource recovery and recycling will provide more circular economy jobs.
“As Minister Sage says, there are many more jobs in resource recovery than in landfilling, so it’s not just about reducing waste but also about creating sustainable jobs for the future.”
“Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage has made real progress in tackling some of waste’s tricky issues, through introducing mandatory product stewardship, raising the waste levy, banning plastic bags and proposing additional bans on single-use and hard-to-recycle plastics.
“These actions will ultimately result in profound changes to how we deal with the resources we currently call ‘waste’, and help Aotearoa New Zealand shift to a circular economy.”