[GRRN] Fw: Zero Waste New Zealand Media Release

Bill Sheehan (bill_sheehan@mindspring.com)
Mon, 20 Dec 1999 10:18:34 -0500


13 December 1999

More Councils to Join National Pilot Project

More than a quarter of all territorial local authorities have now
joined or indicated serious interest in an ambitious plan to make
New Zealand the world leader in waste reduction.

Co-ordinators of the Zero Waste movement have confirmed that
13 district and city councils have joined a national pilot project
originally designed for only ten, and 7 more authorities are
poised to make a commitment to reducing waste to zero by

The Councils gathered for the first time last week, at the
inaugural Zero Waste Pilot Project Conference in Kaikoura,
providing clear evidence of a groundswell of support in urban
and provincial New Zealand to conquer New Zealand's chronic
waste problem.

Each Council will receive $25,000 from the Zero Waste New
Zealand Trust to research the best methods for reducing
landfilling in their area. The Trust is funded by the Tindall
Foundation, and is investigating new sources of research
funding to allow the pilot programme to be expanded.

Zero Waste trustee Warren Snow said the conference, attended
by community groups, council staff and elected representatives,
highlighted a new level of understanding about the need to
control the flow of resources through our communities and the
value of material currently sent to landfill.

"There's been a significant shift in awareness and it's clear
there's a new will to act. People no longer need convincing of
the need to divert resources from landfill. They want to know
the 'how-to' so that they can make immediate progress in their
particular community.

"The change has been driven by the inevitability of
environmental contamination, growing disposal costs and the
increasing value of the waste stream in terms of jobs and
economic development.

"Councils can see that reducing waste towards zero is no longer
a theoretical exercise. Most of the processes already exist and
we have more than enough case studies of community-based
recycling and waste reduction projects achieving dramatic
results. Councils can proceed with confidence, knowing that a
community-based approach will gain a strong constituency of
support and creativity.

"Zero Waste is a break-through strategy which will achieve
rapid and massive improvements in our resource efficiency."

New Zealand is a "waste-hiding" society that relies on the
services of professional waste hiders. The key to reducing the
waste stream is to involve the community and use economic
development as a driver as well as environmental benefits.

Guest speaker Bill Sheehan, of the GrassRoots Recycling
Network, based in Athens Georgia, said local government must
nurture community support for waste reduction and create the
conditions for recycling and reuse to out-compete landfilling.

"Local government has to create the incentives to sort and
separate resources at the mouth of the landfill, and aim to starve
it. It also has a role in exerting an influence further upstream to
reduce the wasteful use of resources prior to consumption."

"We need to invert the mindset that views recycling and reuse
as an expensive add-on to a disposal service, and aim for a
system where landfilling becomes the add-on to a resource
recovery process."

The 13 confirmed councils are Far North District, Hastings
District, Gisborne District, Kawerau District, Opotiki District,
Masterton District, Timaru District, Mackenzie District, Nelson
City, Kaikoura District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District and
Dunedin City.


For further information contact:
Julie Dickinson
Zero Waste New Zealand Trust
Phone: 09 486 0734
Fax: 09 489 3232
Email: mailbox@zerowaste.co.nz