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Followed by Trish Hatfield

And demonstrating equal acuity is this presentation by Trish Hatfield at this morning's Council, again to a deathly silence. These guys just don't get it :

"FOOD WASTE ~ and what we can do about it!

Good morning and thank-you for allowing me to speak today.

My name is Trish Hatfield and I have a lifelong interest in waste. I have been involved with the Seagull Centre as a trustee from the beginning and am one of the instigators of the Boomerang Bag project in Thames. I am an also organic horticulturalist who has a long standing interest in composting. So put all that together and you have a food waste advocate!

I want to talk about food waste today as one of the contributing strands in the complex web of climate change. Food waste is an issue on a global scale, nationally, regionally, locally and personally. To tackle it as an issue, it needs to be addressed on many levels simultaneously.

Food waste is a major issue in New Zealand. As a nation, we waste an estimated $872 million worth of food a year. That represents 122,500 tonnes of food sent to landfill. This would feed 262,917 people for a year.

Presently, Parliament’s Environment Select Committee is carrying out a briefing to look into ways to prevent the waste of food in New Zealand. The questions it is addressing include:

  • ·                   How much food is wasted in NZ and what are the impacts of this?
  • ·                   How can we prevent this?
  • ·                   How can we redistribute/convert wasted food to people & animals?

On a regional level, there are some very exciting geographically relevant projects happening, one in Raglan and the other in Auckland. Whereas the national interest is at the level of food waste from primary producers and large supermarket chains, the regional projects are focused on food waste at a household level and the impacts of this on our land fills.

The main thing to understand is that when food ends up as waste in our rubbish bags and subsequently at the landfill, it goes through a process of anaerobic fermentation (which means in the absence of oxygen). This process release methane, which is 26 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas and is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, if food waste is composted, it reduces or prevents the release of methane during organic matter breakdown.

The Raglan Kerbside Foodwaste collection was one of the first in the country and has diverted 225 tons of foodwaste from going to landfill in the 18 months it has been running. Reducing this amount of foodwaste from decomposing in a landfill is the equivalent of removing 500 cars off the road. Diverting foodwaste from Raglan’s household waste could reduce waste to landfill by up to 20% by weight.

The Raglan project, a pilot kerbside food collection, began in August 2017. Every household was provided with the kitchen caddies, kerbside bin and compostable bags. The Horizontal Composting Unit was built to provide a receptacle for the bags of food waste mixed with greenwaste that had gone through the chipper. The materials travel through the receptacle over a 12 to 14 week period, reaching temps of 65C, getting turned regularly by a digger and resulting in beautiful, weedfree, black compost. They have just completed a year’s worth of compost sales (which continue to increase) and they grossed $25,000.

The project has been fully funded to date by the MfE Waste Min Fund, Waikato District Council Waste levy, and Xtreme Zero Waste, their contractor, to the tune of $300,000. From July 2019 the cost of this service is being considered for inclusion in household rates. The rate proposed is $79.29 per year, which is equivalent to $1.52 per week, and would include the ongoing provision of the compostable bags, kitchen caddy, kerbside collection bin, the collection, and processing of the foodwaste.

Auckland City Council has embarked on a similar journey. Public consultation on the first region-wide Waste Management and Minimisation Plan in 2012, showed over 70 per cent of respondents agreed with introducing a food scraps collection service.

In March of this year, Papakura was the first area in Auckland to receive Auckland Council’s new kerbside food scraps collection as part of a three-bin service designed to reduce the city’s waste. This service will be introduced across all of urban Auckland by 2021.

Each household using the service has been putting out an average of 4.2kg of scraps each week. The food scraps collected are used to create a nutrient-rich compost that is returned to the soil across the upper North Island to grow fruit and vegetables. This helps to complete the nutrient cycle and reduces Auckland’s carbon footprint as a result. Some of the compost created will also be available to community groups as part of Auckland Council’s compost for communities scheme.

In conjunction, Auckland City Council is offering free compost making courses.

I urge the TCDC to implement a food waste service as part of their commitment to reducing waste and climate change mitigation. When reviewing the Eastern Waikato Waste Management & Minimisation Plan (of which the TCDC is part) the first thing I noted was:

Vision: Minimise waste to landfill and maximise community benefit;

And then these Options under Collection & Services:

CS2: Provide a food and or greenwaste collection to householders and businesses AND

CS7: Actively encourage home composting of food and garden waste. Provide shredding services in more remote parts of Districts

So to recap a kerbside collection would provide the following benefits:

  • ·                   Reduce release of methane gas
  • ·                   Reduce waste to landfill by up to 20%
  • ·                   Reduce transport costs of waste to landfill
  • ·                   Save home owner money by using less pre-paid bags
  • ·                   Foodwaste can be made into high quality compost with an economic gain
  • ·                   Reduce bad doors at home and at transfer station
  • ·                   Reduce animal strikes on rubbish bags and vermin at transfer station

I am more than happy to answer any questions and provide support and contacts for furthering these ideas. Thank-you

Other projects in NZ:

Kai Conscious Waiheke - managed by Waiheke Resources Trust & funded by Auckland Council

Project aims to reduce household food waste, connect community &

encourage composting so reducing food waste at source

Started with a pilot in 2013 in Blackpool and then moved to 5 other areas on the Island in 2017. Provided households with food waste container, meal planner, progress tracker etc.

Taking actions like measuring food waste, meal and shopping planning, portioning, and storing food correctly to reduce the amount of food waste you produce, save you money and reduce environmental impacts.

Good morning and thank-you for allowing me to speak today."



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Reader Comments (1)

Very well researched presentation. Come on TCDC, please implement these worthy practical ways of reducing the detrimental effects of food waste in our communities and district. We must get past the 'insular' thinking that what we might do in our district will make little difference nationally or on the world scene. If numbers of communities and districts address food waste, then the beneficial effects of such thinking and action will 'snowball'. In turn, a real difference nationally will begin to be made!

June 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTim

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