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New funding will keep demo materials out of landfill

hipkins visits henderson rd

New Government funding to help divert construction and demolition waste away from landfill announced today is very welcome, says Hastings deputy mayor Tania Kerr.

Mrs Kerr met Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Minister for the Environment Rachel Brooking at Hastings District Council’s Henderson Rd Refuse Transfer Station today [Sept 21] to discuss the difference the $680,000 would make.

The funding would help pay for the construction and initial costs of a dedicated area for sorting treated and untreated timber, plasterboard, flat glass and plastic piping used in horticulture and construction. Council’s contribution, from the Waste Minimisation Fund, will be $300,000.

Mrs Brooking said Cyclone Gabrielle had vastly increased the amount of demolition required in Hastings and it was critical that it did not end up in landfill – particularly when there were other uses for it.

Mrs Kerr said keeping construction waste out of landfill had been a strong focus of Council prior to the cyclone, with a specialist construction and demolition waste minimisation advisor for Hastings and Napier employed earlier this year.

“Cyclone Gabrielle has made this work even more important. We need this facility to build on the work we have done by taking as much of this material out as we can at the transfer station.”

The new transfer station facility would divert specific materials (timber, plasterboard, flat glass and piping) for which recycling options had been pre-arranged.

The dedicated waste minimisation advisor worked with demolition and construction companies at site to divert a wide range of waste before it reached the transfer station or landfill; from identifying recyclable materials to finding a recycling option or new user for them.

During the demolition of a Hastings office block, recycled and rehomed items included kitchenettes, bathroom fittings, carpet tiles, plasterboard, flat glass, native timber, firefighting equipment and scrap metal.

Facts and figures

  • Timber and plasterboard alone make up almost 20 per cent of waste going to landfill (pre-cyclone)
  • Materials to be diverted at Henderson Rd Transfer Station: treated and untreated timber, flat glass, PVC and HDPE piping, plasterboard
  • Diversion from landfill targets per annum are:
    • Timber 600 tonnes (currently 300T)
    • Flat glass 240T (currently 0)
    • Plasterboard 150T (currently 0)
    • HDPE/PVC piping 50T (currently 0).

What is the Waste Minimisation Fund?

A weight-based charge at landfills has to be paid to Government. Fifty per cent of the fund is allocated each year to councils, based on population, for waste minimisation initiatives and programmes.

Hastings uses the funds for initiatives such as their share of the new construction and demolition facility, funding its share of the new demolition and construction waste minimisation role, establishing drop off recycling facilities, waste minimisation education, and funding community groups and organisations to carry out waste minimisation programmes.

This year the fund is estimated to pay $1.3 million to Hastings District Council, with that figure expected to reach $1.8m in 2025.

26 September 2023

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