News | 4 August 2020
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Council talks trash in the capital

People living in Wellington City now have the opportunity to give their feedback on new controls intended to help promote waste minimisation and better manage waste.

Image of Lets talk trash poster board

Over the past two years, Wellington City Council has been reviewing the issues related to waste management and minimisation within the city. The Council has also been working with the other seven councils in the region to develop a suite of new waste standards that have the potential to become regionally consistent. 

As a result of this work, the proposed Solid Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw has been developed. Now the public are invited to give feedback on this proposed bylaw.

The proposed bylaw signals a change from the Council’s current bylaw provisions that are solely focused on delivering effective and efficient waste management, with new bylaw provisions now also being focused on promoting waste minimisation.

Key proposed bylaw changes include:  

  • new controls to manage waste and kerbside collection;
  • restricting unaddressed and advertising mail;
  • a new suite of standards that will affect waste and recycling collectors;
  • new event waste management planning standards for large events (over 1000 people);
  • standards to better manage littering and the inappropriate deposit/discarding of waste;
  • the establishment of new construction and demolition (C&D) waste planning requirements for high-value building projects; and
  • standards to ensure new multi-unit dwellings, with 10 or more residential units, can provide suitable storage areas for waste and recycling generated on-site.

Our review of the city’s existing waste bylaw provisions has identified a number of issues to be addressed in order to provide for more effective waste management and minimisation, and some of these issues also extend into the surrounding region, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“In 2017, the Councils of the Wellington Region adopted the Regional Waste Management and Minimisation Plan. In this Plan, the councils of the region committed to working together to develop a set of bylaw provisions that had the potential to be regionally consistent.  We have now done that and want to know what people think.

“The bylaw is just one of a range of initiatives Council will take along with initiatives required of Central Government if we are to reduce waste volumes sustainably and make our city cleaner.

“Within Wellington city, the population is expected to grow by 50,000 to 80,000 over the next 30 years, so we know we need change that enables us to better manage and reduce our waste in preparation for that.”  

Council’s Waste Minimisation portfolio lead Councillor Laurie Foon says we need to think about how we can better reduce our waste so that we don’t create rubbish in the first place.

“These proposed changes will be a step in the right direction towards stopping landfills being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

“Our waste is also producing emissions that do not align with our zero carbon targets and with making good decisions for future generations. Producing emissions through waste is also costing Wellingtonians in ETS fees, which are also set to increase in the future. It is vital we use all opportunities to move toward being a waste free region and capital.”

Waste Operations Manager, Emily Taylor-Hall, says the proposed bylaw will enable the Council to take action on waste-related issues where they haven’t been able to previously.

“The new proposed bylaw means Council will be able to meet its legal obligations and to more effectively manage the negative impacts of waste on the environment, as well as ensure the protection of the health and safety of the public and those involved in waste management.

“It will also assist the Council to improve its understanding of the waste collection services in the city and how waste is being disposed of.”

Have your say on how we more effectively manage and minimise waste in Wellington city. Submissions open today (Tuesday 4 August) until 5pm on Friday 25 September 2020.

The questionnaire and supporting information is available on the Let’s Talk Wellington website and paper submission forms and documents are available at all local libraries.

There is also an opportunity to make an oral submission to Council on Thursday 22 October. You can book a time to speak to Council by ticking the box on the submission form.