On the less is more principle, Waikato District Council is introducing measures to encourage reducing, re-using and recycling.
Each year Waikato communities unnecessarily dump a costly 35,000 tonnes of refuse in landfills.
But a whopping 64% or 23,000 tonnes of dumped rubbish doesn’t need to be and could be put to better use, the council says.
From July 1, the council will be introducing new refuse and recycling services, which will include pre-paid rubbish bag stickers.
The Less Waste Saves More Campaign is designed to raise awareness of how everyone can make a difference by reducing their waste.
Council Waste minimisation officer Pat Cronin said there will be savings for people who reduce the amount of waste they put in their refuse bags. “Each bag will require a pre-paid sticker and wheelie bins will be collected on a pay per lift basis. The less refuse we put out the more money saved.”
There are also indirect savings, too, because the less waste the district produces the more natural resources are saved.
“We know people are becoming more aware of how important it is to reduce their waste, recycle more and find better ways to reuse stuff they no longer need. We’ll be providing more information over the coming weeks about the new service and how to reduce, reuse and recycle,” Cronin said.
• We send 509kg of waste to landfill per person per year.
• The changes in service will reduce this to 338kg per person per year, a reduction of 33% in waste to landfill per person by 2022.
• 64% of what we throw away can be diverted from landfill as follows: 22% is recyclable; 37% is food waste and 5% is garden waste, which can be put to a better use, such as composting
• Recycling one tonne of paper saves 17 trees and 7500 litres of water
• Each average-sized tree provides an estimated $10 savings in annual environmental benefits, including energy conservation and reduced pollution.