News | 5 September 2016

Waste Minimisation Seed Fund opens to help organisations watch their waste

The Waste Minimisation Seed Fund is open for applications to support smart ways to reduce waste in the Capital.

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The $70,000 per annum fund is split into two pools: funding for projects less than $2000 and another for larger projects over $2000, with a $25,000 cap.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says this round of funding is for the larger projects, which allows for a lot of scope for great ideas.

“The Council is working hard to reduce waste, and we will get there faster with the collaboration and support of others who can contribute with fresh and imaginative ideas to achieve this.”

Councillor Iona Pannett, Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, adds that there are encouraging signs already from past recipients of the fund.

“Six organisations were selected to receive substantial grants last year, and they’ve all contributed to reducing waste in a variety of ways including minimising commercial and industrial waste, and influencing community action and behaviour change,” she says.

Projects funded by the committee ranged from the Island Bay Festival, to Cuba Dupa, Sustainability Trust, and Newtown Festival’s waste diversion plan.

Newtown Festival Zero Waste Coordinators Vanessa and Renee Rushton say the fund went a long way to helping them achieve their waste minimisation goal.

“It made a huge difference. We were able to engage the Sustainability Trust to carry out a waste audit of the entire festival. Through carrying out this audit, we have a much greater understanding of the total waste produced, the quantity and quality of recycling and compost streams, and the key waste-streams we should focus on reducing next year, like non-compostable napkins.

“We also made gains in identifying which stallholders were doing well at minimising their waste and which ones needed more engagement to get them on board. Having the money to pay a stallholder liaison person to talk with the stallholders made this time-intensive job possible,” adds Vanessa.

The fund comes from landfill levies collected in accordance with the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 and is a part of Wellington’s environmental responsibility, set out in the Wellington Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (2011-2017).

Applicants are invited to apply for the 2016 Waste Minimisation Seed Fund for projects from $2000-$25,000 now, with the deadline 28 October. Applications will be notified mid-December.