The Journey Towards Zero Waste

18 May 2017

Proposals on how to make inroads into being Zero Waste by 2040 are about to be considered by New Plymouth District Council’s (NPDC) elected members.

The Draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan is a six-year overview that details where the district is at with waste and recycling, the areas we can improve and what action we can take to achieve Zero Waste, says Infrastructure Manager David Langford.

“Our community has expressed a strong desire for the Council to drive a reduction in waste and improve how we as a community manage it – something that’s been reinforced through our recent public conversation around the proposal Focus Area of Zero Waste 2040,” he says.

The draft plan lists the district’s key goals as:

  • Maximising opportunities to reduce levels of waste sent to the landfill. (The region sends about 55,000 tonnes of waste to the landfill each year – about 40 per cent of which could be recycled or composted.)
  • Reducing the harmful and costly effects of waste, e.g. reducing the instances of illegal dumping.
  • Improving efficiency of resource use.

NPDC proposes to deliver on these goals by:

  • Changing the current kerbside collection of a weekly 60L rubbish bag and two fortnightly recycling bins (one for glass and one for general recycling) to a fortnightly 120L rubbish bin and three recycling bins (for glass, general recycling and food/green waste).
  • Growing the Council’s education programmes to drive behaviour change.
  • Developing collaboration and partnerships in the district, regionally and nationally.
  • Showing leadership and innovation by modelling good practice in Council facilities and addressing commercial waste.

If all of the proposed changes are approved after public consultation, it would result in an additional $2.15 per week on household rates.

“We will be wanting public feedback on the proposals so we intend to open them up to public consultation in the middle of June, after the Planning Committee has approved the draft plan,” says Mr Langford.

The draft plan will be considered by NPDC’s four community boards next week and the Planning Committee on 6 June – watch Planning Committee meeting live online at 

As a result of the current Waste Management and Minimisation Plan the Council established a new kerbside rubbish and recycling service, which began nearly two years ago. Since then:

  • The volume of kerbside waste dropped from 12,000 tonnes per annum (2014/15) to 7,000 tonnes (2015/16) due to increased recycling.
  • Kerbside recycling has increased: items being recycled rather than put in rubbish bags has increased from 13 per cent of kerbside waste to 45 per cent.
  • Customer satisfaction has increased to 82 per cent from 72 per cent in 2015.

In 2016/17, the cost of NPDC’s solid waste services was $8.2 million, funded by fees, waste levies and rates. 


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