Kaitāia Market waste gets a second life

A grant from The Packaging Forum has helped the Far North Environment Centre greatly reduce the volume of compostable and recyclable material from the Kaitāia Market going to landfill.
10 August 2021

The Centre has used their recent grant of $9,500 to provide bins for food waste, compostable packaging and recyclables at the market since the beginning of July.

The Centre’s Plastic Free Kaitāia Co-ordinator Waikarere Gregory says they began the project to coincide with Plastic Free July and collected two 60l bags of compostable material at one market alone, despite the poor weather. Previously only a general rubbish bin was available.

“It’s been a great success, reducing waste in the council landfill bins by up to 75% each week,” she says.

The compostable material collected from the market goes towards creating compost by KaitāiaCycle a collaboration with Good Life Projects (which works with youth and adults with intellectual disabilities to create bountiful gardens), CBEC Ecosolutions and Earthcare, Waikarere says.

The Centre identified the need for bins after running a trial at the market and found a strong zero-waste contingent, with most stalls using compostable or recyclable packaging. The trial also found many members of the public were keen to reduce waste to landfill, but a lack of bins meant compostable or recyclable material was going in general rubbish bins, she says.

“We’re also going to work with stallholders to help them move toward better packaging options that can be either recycled or composted, and ideally work towards a reusable system.”

The Centre took a zero-waste approach to the entire operation with the reusable bin liners sewn by local group Anō Anō Clothing Rescue, from old shower curtains, flags and material, Waikarere says.

She also uses an e-bike and trailer, on some days, to transport some of their gear to and from the market.

“We are currently looking for someone to employ to oversee the bins, but in the meantime are managing a roster system with our current contractors,” she says.

The Packaging Forum CEO Rob Langford says the Forum also supplied the Centre with a bin stand and signage from the Litter Less Recycling More project it was involved with to help make the bins more visible and prevent them toppling in high winds.

“We thought this was a great project because it not only keeps recyclable and compostable material out of landfill but helps with educating the public around putting waste in the right bins and not just choosing landfill as the default option,” he says.

First public recycling bins for Upper Hutt parks

Public recycling bins have made their first appearance in an Upper Hutt park thanks to help from The Packaging Forum.

25 June 2021

Maidstone Max – Tō Tātou Papa Tākaro, which was recently redeveloped by the Upper Hutt City Council, has been kitted out with four colour-coded public place recycling and rubbish bins. This, thanks in part to a $5,400 grant from the Forum.

Council Waste Minimisation Officer Richard Schouten says the bins take glass, mixed recycling and general waste. “Maidstone Max – Tō Tātou Papa Tākaro is Upper Hutt’s premier adventure play space, and is a great example of putting a waste minimisation lens across a large public infrastructure project.

“These recycling bins are a first for an Upper Hutt public park and the feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive. The young people in our community are in tune with sustainability and waste minimisation and it’s been exciting to see them embrace the new recycling bins in their shared social spaces.”

Richard says the bins’ standardised colours make it easy for the public to use them correctly. These bins are seen across many other districts throughout the country, so the public instantly recognise what they are.”

The packaging Forum CEO Rob Langford says the colour-coded bins were originally designed as part of the Litter Less Recycle More project, but are available through the Forum’s bin partner Tilley Bins to anyone wanting to install the well-recognised system. There are now over 160 sets of these bins in 18 regions, he says.

“We are thrilled to have the bins we designed as the first in a park in Upper Hutt,” Rob says. “They were designed to make recycling easy and we’ve found that they work very well.”

The park was reopened at the end of a nine-month redevelopment which included a remodelled playground, wheelchair access, state-of-the-art skate park, pump track and half basketball court among its features and attractions.

Grants help clean up NZ’s act

The Packaging Forum’s recent grant funding round called on applications for projects which would tackle litter reduction in New Zealand. It attracted some excellent applications, with four projects being awarded a total of $29,500 in funding.

2 June 2021

Trailer to help keep it green and clean

Promoting litter reduction and encouraging reuse over single-use goes hand-in-hand, with Envirohub Marlborough’s washable service ware trailer hitting both marks.

The organisation was awarded a $10,000 grant to upgrade their equipment with a wash trailer for washable, reusable service ware at public events in and round Picton.

The Envirohub, which works with the local community to enhance sustainability practices in and around the town, currently offers the washable service with makeshift equipment. However, the lack of infrastructure meant it was not streamlined.

A trailer will not only greatly improve the efficiency of the service but provide opportunity for increased awareness and public engagement.

Keeping compostables, recyclables out of landfill

The Te Pokapu Tiaki Taiao o Te Tai Tokerau Trust (Far North Environment Centre), based in Kaitaia, applied for funding to help with a project which will divert compostable and recyclable material from landfill at the local market.

The Centre’s recent recycling bin trial at the markets found a strong zero-waste contingent, with most stalls using compostable or recyclable packaging. It also found many members of the public were keen to reduce waste to landfill. However, a lack of infrastructure meant compostable or recyclable material was going to landfill.

A grant of $9,520 from The Packaging Forum will fund recycling and compost bins as well as a paid staff member at the market to educate the public for six months.

The Trust and its environment centre are central to a growing network of Northlanders working to improve their environmental impact.

Punching a hole in the cardboard problem

Sustainability Trust in Wellington has developed a simple but innovative local use for post-consumer cardboard by turning it into packing material or a compost additive.

The Forum awarded a grant of $5,000 for the Wellington-based Trust to commission a cardboard perforator. The result of the perforating process is a recyclable material which can be used to package breakable items sold by the Trust’s EcoShop, as well as an additive for the community compost hub.

The commercial viability of recycled cardboard has suffered as a result of China’s National Sword and similar overseas policies, with the Forum welcoming projects for alternative, local uses.

The Trust’s mission is to create warm, dry, healthy homes and help reduce people’s impact on the environment.

Project to wash away single-use service ware

Public events can create a large amount of single-use waste from service ware, with Res.Awesome in Dunedin having initiated a project which will see a portable wash station rolled out for reusable service ware.

The Forum awarded $5,000 to the project, which will not only reduce since-use service ware waste at events, but influence public behaviour change in terms of reuse over single-use.

The service will provide vendors with reusable plates, bowls, cups and cutlery to serve patrons. These can then be returned to a central wash truck where patrons can clean their service ware before it is sanitised.

Res.Awesome works towards creative, connected and innovative resource recovery in Dunedin City. They work to support businesses, schools and communities to reduce their waste through workshops, waste auditing, and zero waste management as well as creating a Dunedin Resource Recovery database.