Removing the stink from household rubbish: Putaruru trials New Zealand’s first food waste collection
Putaruru residents will be the first in New Zealand to trial a dedicated food waste collection service initiated by Earthcare Environmental and the South Waikato District Council. The 12 month trial, beginning on Tuesday 1 March 2011, will see food waste collected separately from general waste, potentially reducing domestic kerbside waste by almost 40%. Food waste such as left- overs, meat, fish and bones, egg shells, vege peelings, coffee grounds, tea bags and bread will be placed in a separate bin for weekly removal to a special processing plant. This new approach to the collection of food waste will provide many householder benefits including removing the odour from household rubbish, decreasing the likelihood of animals attacking kerbside rubbish bags (with no messy clean ups) and reducing the impact rubbish disposal has on the environment. A significant decrease in the volume of domestic kerbside rubbish going into the landfill will also bring a reduced cost to Council, and in the longer term can offer significant economic benefits for the District. Research initiated by Earthcare Environmental into the composition of Putaruru’s household rubbish shows that introducing a system to collect compostable food waste would significantly reduce the quantity of domestic kerbside waste going into landfill byalmost 40%. Over a third of Putaruru’s current kerbside rubbishconsists of compostable materials such as kitchen waste. Once removed and disposed of separately, there will be an immediate reduction in domestic kerbside rubbish volumes going into the landfill. “We are excited to trial this new initiative with the South Waikato District Council,” said Mike Jones, Managing Director Earthcare Environmental. “We are looking forward to confirming the many benefits this trial will offer households, the environment, and the wider community.”
“This is an innovative service for Putaruru residents,” said South Waikato District Mayor Neil Sinclair. “We hope the community will work together to better manage household waste.” “The food waste collection will be efficient, easy to use, improve kitchen odours and hopefully a decrease in animal attacks on kerbside rubbish bags too.” Over the next few weeks Putaruru residents will receive comprehensive information on how the trial will work, how they can take part and most importantly what to put in the new bin. They will be provided with a small plastic kitchen food caddy for the daily disposal of food waste, biodegradable caddy liners and a large food waste bin for weekly street side collection. There will be no additional cost for this service. The food waste collected by Earthcare Environmental will be taken to Environfert’s food waste processing facility in Tuakau. The food waste product will be processed into high grade fertilizer. The dedicated food trial comes after the launch of a research report ‘Household Organic Waste Cost Benefit Analysis’ commissioned by Earthcare Environmental and Envirofert in November 2010. The research report, by UK researcher Dr Dominic Hogg, from Eunomia Research and Consulting, found that establishing council-run food waste collection and recycling schemes could benefit New Zealand by up to $20 million a year socially, economically and environmentally.