The Associate Minister of the Environment and Green Party MP Eugenie Sage spent this morning (March 2) at the Omarunui Landfill with Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst and Napier Mayor Bill Dalton.
Ms Sage toured the landfill during her first visit to Hawke’s Bay as Minister of Conservation and Associate Minister of the Environment for the Labour-led Coalition Government.
It came as thousands of public submissions flooded in to councils on the draft joint Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP) for 2018-2024. Submissions opened on February 19 and close on March 23.
The Hastings District and Napier City Councils are reviewing the joint WMMP, which sets out how waste will be managed in the region. Last year 84,000 tonnes of waste was received at Omarunui Landfill from Hastings and Napier regions. Close to 80 per cent of household waste going to the landfill could be composted or recycled.
Ms Sage said too much waste was ending up in landfills. “We need to reduce waste, apply the landfill levy to more landfills, and look at container deposit and product stewardship schemes and other options to reduce waste across the board.
“Significantly reducing waste going to landfill by 2020 is a key goal of the Green Party’s confidence and supply agreement with Labour and is a priority for me as Associate Environment Minister,” she said.
“This is a serious problem and I am reviewing the implementation of the Waste Minimisation Act to see how it can be more effectively used. It’s a good law, with effective provisions, but they haven’t been used to the extent they should have.”
In Hawke's Bay the proposed options for enhancing Council-provided kerbside systems for rubbish, recycling and organics are aimed at providing the two districts with a better, cost-effective way to manage household waste, while also being user-friendly.
Mr Dalton said Mrs Sage's Hawke's Bay visit was a great chance to give her a tour of the Omarunui Landfill. “We hope the visit deepens the Government’s understanding of the challenges Napier and Hastings face with waste. We encourage everyone in our region to get in their submissions so we have the best information we possibly can on how we should deal with waste.”
Mrs Hazlehurst said the draft WMMP aligned closely with the key goal of reducing waste going to landfill by 2020. “It’s time to change the way we dispose of waste, rather than expecting landfills to keep expanding for future use. It is the whole community’s responsibility to try to reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfills. The new draft WMMP provides alternatives to just dumping waste.”
Submissions can be made online at www.myvoicemychoice.co.nz or by using the tear-off, freepost form at the back of the consultation document delivered to all households within Napier city and Hastings district.
Consultation on the draft WMMP closes on March 23.
2 March 2018
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