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New waste education space built at landfill

Omarunui Landfill education centre 1

A new waste education centre at Ōmarunui Landfill partly constructed with reclaimed materials that were destined for landfill, will be a dedicated space for people to learn about what happens to waste, and how to minimise it.

The building was completed, and a karakia conducted by members of Ngāti Pārau at the end of September. Ngāti Pārau kaumātua Tamati Cairns officially named the building ‘Te Whare Mukupara’.

Hastings district councillor and chair of Hastings and Napier’s Ōmarunui Refuse Landfill Joint Committee Ann Redstone said it was a valuable addition to the ongoing waste minimisation work being done by both councils.

“As a result of extensive consultation with our community to develop our Joint Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2018-2024, education about minimising waste was identified as being a really important tool to help us keep as much waste out of the landfill as possible.

“Having this building gives us a dedicated space to help educate and improve community awareness of all the products that can be reused or recycled and ways that can be done.”

Te Whare Mukupara would completely change the experience of visiting the landfill, said Napier City councillor and Joint Waste Futures Committee chair Hayley Browne.

“Together we need to raise awareness of ways to divert from landfill, including thinking about what we buy through to how we dispose of things at the end of their life.

“We want to empower our communities, and those who work in the waste space, to minimise waste and maximise their use of resources. As a region our vision is working towards zero waste using a whole suite of tools. Education is at the heart of that.”

Tours have run at the landfill over the years but were often challenged by bad weather, and there was no space to have quality conversations and answer questions raised. The tours stopped altogether during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new building will not just be limited to tours. Hastings District and Napier City Councils will use it for events and educational workshops through their waste minimisation teams, and community initiatives.

Translated, ‘Te Whare’ - the house, means the space will ‘house/home’ visitors, groups, schools during their visit to the education building with manaakitanga and care.

‘Muku’, meaning delete, cease, or minimise, aligns with the purpose of the building and education programmes around sharing knowledge on how to minimise waste, and ‘para’ means rubbish or waste.

Hastings District Council and Napier City Council are currently developing a joint waste education programme that will be available to schools in both the Hastings and Napier areas, and anticipate the programme will be ready to roll out next year.

3 November 2023

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