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[GreenYes] Fwd: Zero Waste report from New Zealand

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Warren Snow []
>Sent: Friday, 19 April 2002 8:00 a.m.
>At a conference for Zero Waste community groups in New Zealand a few days 
>ago, a number of reports were given of the progress of communities with 
>Zero Waste targets. Many people have criticised the idea of Zero Waste 
>because they say it's easy to set a goal and then carry on as usual. But 
>the reports show the tremendous power of a vision such as Zero Waste.

>One small community is reporting that they have reduced waste from 10,000 
>tonnes per annum to 1,600 tonnes per annum in 3 years since they adopted 
>Zero Waste. Another has extended their landfill life from 3 years to over 
>20 years and have made their Zero waste programme a feature to attract 
>tourism. One recycler is mining a landfill for a large paper and forestry 
>complex and has extended its life by 40 years.

>These community groups are winning contracts from their local authorities 
>- often they simply start with a small one and it leads to them getting a 
>significant contract. In one case a community group in one town got 
>support to win a 5 million 7 year contract from another community group 
>that had experience. Now they jointly own the business that runs the waste 
>system for the community.

>At least 12 communities are building Resource Recovery Parks and in two 
>cases they have decided not to build a landfill and to build a Resource 
>Recovery Park instead. One rural district is spending 2.6milion on a 
>Resource Recovery Park. One community has hired an architect to design 
>their resource recovery park and it has to be made from recycled 
>materials. One small community of 3,500 now has 16 people employed in 
>their recycling programme and have reduced waste by 70% in two years. Some 
>communities are experimenting with Food waste collections.

>Each community is doing it differently and in the most successful cases 
>there is always a strong citizen run group working in the community and 
>increasingly with their local council to find solutions for reducing 
>waste. Each group has stories of successes and  failures. Because they are 
>all working for Zero Waste they share these between each other and learn 

>It has been important to have an organisation such as the Zero Waste NZ 
>Trust to provide networking and support. Now that nearly half of all the 
>local Authorities have adopted Zero Waste by 2015, the government has 
>brought out its waste policy which is called, "Towards Zero Waste and a 
>Sustainable New Zealand". This has given the groups, especially the ones 
>that are struggling more heart to carry on.

>It is amazing the level of commitment and creativity that these groups put 
>into their communities. They are doing it because they are passionate 
>about saving their communities from waste and toxics. There is still a 
>very long way to go and much will depend on manufacturers internationally 
>adopting Zero Waste principles because almost everything in New Zealand is 
>Warren Snow
>Please go to for more information - the website is 
>being reconstructed but there is still much info.

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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