Did you know?
- Improperly disposed of, waste can pose a risk to human health and the environment.
- Good progress has been made in reducing the amount of waste New Zealanders throw away.
- Relative to economic activity the level of waste thrown away has decreased 29 per cent over the last decade.
- Recycling rates are increasing – in 2006, 73 per cent of New Zealanders had access to kerbside recycling, up from 20 per cent in 1996.
- However, half of the waste New Zealanders throw away is potentially still useful. This includes garden and food waste which can be mulched or composted, recyclable materials, and other materials which can be reused.
- It has been estimated that around 10 per cent of the waste we dispose of to landfill is hazardous waste which requires careful handling.
For more information about the impacts of waste on the environment see Environment New Zealand 2007 at www.mfe.govt.nz
What can you do?
- Recycle at home – one recycled aluminium can saves enough electricity to run a TV for three hours.
- Buying products that are recycled, have recycled content, or are second-hand can help reduce the volume of waste that goes to landfill.
- Your rubbish could be someone else’s treasure. Give away or sell your unwanted items and reduce your rubbish that goes to landfill.
- Reuse your food waste through composting or a worm farm – both are great for the garden.
- Reduce your rubbish by using reusable shopping bags and coffee cups, buying products with less packaging, and placing a ‘no junk mail’ sign on your letter-box.