Jeremy Smith reports the eight-year, $1.6 million, programme to cut landfill waste from Kāpiti has made absolutely no difference.
In fact, the district’s homes and businesses are producing more waste including greenhouse gases.
That’s a conclusion from the council’s Waste Management Taskforce which reported back this week after seven months’ work.
The amount of kerbside waste went up from 208 kilograms person in 2010 to an estimated 270kg this year, a rise of more than 25 per cent.
Likewise the amount of waste going to landfills from Kapiti was 411kg per person in 2010, but this year is expected to be 538 kg, also a rise of 24 per cent.
Neither up nor down
The news is better for kerbside recycling: it has not gone up, but it has not gone down either.
The report writers note that increased waste is a result of economic and population growth.. but it is not the result the Kapiti council was looking for.
The taskforce report notes that food and green waste make up about one third of waste going into transfer stations and about half the material picked up from kerbsides.
Major source of global warming
It is also a significant source of greenhouse gases – a major source of global warming.
Taskforce member and Greypower representative Kevin Burrows said the current kerbside c.ollection system is not working and noted it was an issue in the council elections this year.
Deirdre Kent of Low Carbon Kapiti said the methane gas problem could be tackled by wide-spread composting.
The report said a “hotrot” composting system like one just installed commercially in Wanganui could be the way to produce the compost.
But the cost, about$550,000 might have to be partly met by the KCDC. And for the system to work commercially it has to have enough a certain amount of green material coming through all the time.
The Taskforce report says the existing transfer station at Otaihanga could be the base for the expanded composting.
The Taskforce comprised eight people- including Mayor Gurunathan and councillor Jackie Elliott, representatives of the district’s three iwi, Kevin Burrows and Deirdre Kent, Paekakariki’s Sophie Handford- now a KCDC councillor.
The chair was former NZ navy chief David Ledson