- October 22, 2015

New Research to help event organisers

New Research to help event organisers

New research released today identifies the geographic location of composting facilities where event waste (food waste and food packaging waste) can be processed. The research has been carried out by Waste Minimisation social enterprise Beyond the Bin and was co-funded by the Packaging Forum’s Public Place Recycling Scheme.
22 October 2015

Lyn Mayes, Manager of the Public Place Recycling Scheme said, “The Scheme funds programmes which increase recycling at venues and events and decrease waste sent to landfill. One of the biggest contributors to waste at events is food scraps, food containers, cups and plates and if all this can be composted it makes a huge difference to the waste diversion rate. Using compostable packaging sent to a compost facility turns waste into a valuable compost material.

“However before event organisers choose compostable packaging they want to know that there is a facility nearby that can take this waste because putting it in a landfill makes no sense.”

“The Gourmet Night Market in Tauranga is one event waste composting success story. They have been achieving over 95% waste diversion through having an effective local composting solution so we were pleased to fund a national research project by Beyond the Bin which has been behind this initiative and others around the country.”

Kim Renshaw, Director, Beyond the Bin said, “The composting industry is slowly developing across most regions in New Zealand to be able to process compostable packaging. Our research identifies twelve composting facilities around the country currently able to accept and process event waste and thirteen which are currently working towards it.

“Some of these facilities are running trials; finalising consents; or awaiting service providers to grow their services to support the process. Decontamination and education are the key solutions to processing event waste through NZ’s composting facilities.”

The majority of these facilities use the windrow composting process.The research identifies a further 30 facilities which may be able to process compostable event waste in the future with 43 facilities unable to process this type of waste.

Mayes says that the Packaging Forum will use the research results to help inform packaging manufacturers, event organisers and the hospitality sector about the availability of suitable compost facilities.

“The report notes that because compostable packaging is not currently recognized or certified by industry bodies in New Zealand as a suitable input for organic compost, some facilities which are capable of processing food packaging waste are unable to do so. As the development of composting facilities continues, it is important that we aim to make sure that the compostable food packaging used at events is compatible with the requirements of the end user.”