The New Zealand Waste Strategy sets out the Government's long-term priorities for waste management and minimisation in New Zealand. This Strategy replaces the 2002 New Zealand Waste Strategy.
The revised New Zealand Waste Strategy sets out the Government’s long-term priorities for waste management and minimisation.
The Strategy’s two goals provide direction to local government, businesses (including the waste industry), and communities on where to focus their efforts in order to deliver environmental, social and economic benefits to all New Zealanders. The goals are:
The Strategy’s flexible approach will ensure waste management and minimisation activities are appropriate for local situations.
Local government has played a lead role in waste management and minimisation over the past decade. I trust this good work will continue – especially with the ongoing responsibilities for territorial authorities under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (the Act).
Getting waste disposal pricing policies right is crucial to improving waste minimisation. The Act helped change the price signals around waste by introducing the waste disposal levy and generating funding for waste minimisation initiatives through the Waste Minimisation Fund and territorial authority levy payments.
The purpose of the levy is to increase the price of waste disposal to better reflect the cost of waste on the environment, society and the economy and to generate money for waste minimisation initiatives.
The Fund enables projects that improve waste management and minimisation to be developed and implemented. These projects can vary from the construction of new waste infrastructure to the advancement of new markets for waste.
The inclusion of waste disposal facilities in the emissions trading scheme will also encourage the climate change impacts of landfill gas emissions to be reflected in waste disposal charges.
Implementing and administering the Waste Minimisation Act is the focus of central government’s action on waste. Waste-related initiatives under the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 are also under way – for example, the proposed National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil.
Due to better environmental controls and the hard work of local government, businesses and the community, there has been significant progress in waste management and minimisation over the past decade.
Waste is now generally disposed of in larger, better managed and designed disposal facilities and the majority of New Zealanders now have access to a range of recycling services. For example, in 2006, 97 per cent of New Zealanders had access to either kerbside recycling or drop-off centres. The waste industry has also stepped up to higher standards and has embraced new opportunities.
In the future, I encourage businesses to develop product stewardship schemes, particularly for products that may have a harmful effect on the environment when they become waste.
This revised Strategy builds on the good work already under way and describes how we can all contribute to the goals of reducing the risk of harm from waste and improving the efficiency of resource use.
Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister for the Environment