Grey Lynn 2030 column – April edition of Ponsonby News
The inorganic collection is currently underway in the central suburbs of Auckland. The collection appears to be an effective way to encourage the re-use of unwanted junk. Unfortunately, even though some useful scavenging does occur, the majority of what goes out on the kerb ends up in landfill at great cost to ratepayers. Take the example of someone putting out a broken washing machine. There are people in the community who could either fix this or re-use as many parts as possible. On the side of the road however the cord is more likely to get cut off for quick cash from the metal leaving the rest of the machine useless.
The Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away group have been promoting a plan for a network of local resource recovery centres as a big step up from the inorganic rubbish collection. The aim is to have a permanent drop off service so that the majority of unwanted stuff is re-used, recycled, fixed, re- purposed or passed on. The centres have the potential to create local jobs and develop new skills in the community especially for young people. A move away from the biennial inorganic collection also means much less waste going to landfill and valuable resources are ‘mined’ reducing the need to exploit our ever decreasing natural resources.
The group are therefore really pleased that the Waitemata Local Board has fully embraced the concept of resource recovery voting last month to support working with neighbouring local boards to develop a community recycling centre and the investigation of whether a council owned site on Normanby Road might be a suitable location.
In the meantime when the inorganic collection hits your street consider alternatives like using Freecycle before dumping stuff or check out the Auckland Council website for guidance on ways to reduce your waste.
The Waste Away group also LOVE zero waste community events. It can be a big challenge for an event to go to zero waste so the group are very supportive of organisers taking steps towards this goal. Once people have experienced a zero waste focussed event they tend to feel very satisfied with the results and benefits especially when measuring how much waste has been diverted from landfill.
‘Guidelines for working to zero waste events (2011) and the ‘Get your Rubbish sorted-your guide to rubbish and recycling’ are also available on the Council website. This information is really worthwhile consulting when you first start planning an event and helps get all the relevant people on board such as stall holders and volunteers. A crucial decision is the waste contractor for the event. Some are great at separating waste into recyclables, organic waste and landfill while others will just take all as ‘one lot’ to landfill.
Local events like the West Lynn Street party and the Richmond Road School Gala have benefitted from the Waste Away team’s expertise. They are happy to provide advice by emailing greylynn2030wasteaway@gmail.