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Talking Trash

Grey Lynn 2030 Ponsonby News Column December 2013

Talking trash is a high priority for Grey Lynn 2030.  Reducing waste is a key part of greening a community so right from our inception Wasteaway, a Grey Lynn 2030 sub- group, has been actively involved in all aspects of waste minimisation in our area – from holding an e-waste collection to sorting recycling at festivals.

It was with this in mind that Grey Lynn 2030 sent Trustee Charlotte Gordon to the Community Recycling Network hui in Wellington in November.  The three day hui was held at the beautiful Tapu Te Ranga marae in Island Bay, which was itself built out of recycled materials.

The hui included representatives of recycling projects from all over the country, such as Cbec in Kaitaia, Xtreme Waste in Raglan, Trash Palace in Porirua right down to Wanaka Wastebusters and many more in between. Small towns are leading the way in exciting waste initiatives, but also cities such as Wellington and Christchurch have resource recovery centres that minimise the waste sent to landfill.  These resource recovery centres are not rubbish transfer stations.  They are places to drop off unwanted goods, receive larger recyclables and on-sell them to others looking for a bargain.  The centres can also act as hubs for waste education and business development and in the case of Cbec in Kaitaia, work to reduce unemployment in the community.  Many centres are also playing a key role in the collection of e-waste and initiatives such as the TV take-back scheme.

And it is now Auckland’s time to step up to the opportunities arising from community-led initiatives, as Auckland Council overhauls the way waste is dealt with in our city.  The traditional system of bi-yearly inorganic collections, while a popular event for scavengers, is no longer working in the way it was intended.  As the council looks at more efficient and environmentally sound ways of managing the waste, they are keen that community groups with an interest in waste, like Grey Lynn 2030, are part of the conversation.

At the heart of the new initiatives for Auckland’s waste is the possibility of a new era of community based recycling depots.  They can potentially include workshops to “upcycle” goods, an educational role teaching schools and other groups about environmental issues and a second hand shop.  The aim is for a network of resource recovery centres to be developed across the Auckland region.

It’s an exciting time to be talking trash in Auckland, as we define how our city will grow sustainably and look to reap the rewards of re-thinking waste as a valuable resource.   Most importantly the community, working together with council, has a central role to play.

Grey Lynn 2030 Christmas lunch and AGM

Join us for an end of year celebration. We will be reporting on the year, sharing plans for 2014 and giving thanks to Grey Lynn 2030’s friends and supporters.

At the Wilton Street Community Garden

Wednesday 18 December, 12.30pm

RSVP to greylynn2030@gmail.com for catering purpose