Congratulations to Yiwei Song for guessing the correct weight of our giant pumpkins - 186.05 kg! Well done! Yiwei is pictured here at Matakana Farmers Market with his prize, a basket of zero waste goodies worth $100. The pumpkins attracted such a lot of attention and were very popular with the kids who loved sitting on them!
We are delighted to have raised $391 in the competition, which will go towards our new composting project on site at Lawrie Rd. More details on that soon.
Join us at the Matakana Farmers Market this Saturday and make your guess on how much these 3 enormous pumpkins weigh. $2 per entry and the closest guess will win a basket of zero waste goodies.
Afterwards the pumpkins will be auctioned off - we are sure someone will love them to carve for halloween!
This is a fundraiser for Mahurangi Wastebusters new compost project. We are setting up a composting facility at our Lawrie Road Community Recycling Centre. We'll be collecting compostable waste from the Matakana Farmers Market and local businesses and turning it into beautiful compost for the garden.
We are grateful to Pam McLaren and Keith Trotter who grew these amazing pumpkins! Thank you!
Take up the challenge - can you go without plastic for the month of July? Or even for a week or a day?
Plastic Free July is a global movement - join in and see how much you can reduce single-use plastic waste everyday at home, work, school and even at your local cafe.
Check out the ideas and resources on www.plasticfreejuly.org and share your successes on Mahurangi Wastebusters fb page.
And for the first time ever there's going to be a New Zealand wide launch party! It’s a chance to connect up with other people around the country who are taking part in the challenge, learn some new tips and tricks to go plastic free and meet Rebecca Prince Ruis the founder of Plastic Free July. Rebecca started the challenge 10 years ago in Perth Australia with 30 friends taking part. Last year in New Zealand over 250,000 people took part in the challenge.
The virtual launch party will be held on Wednesday 24th June from 7pm- 8.30pm using Zoom. We will also be having an awesome line up of NZ presenters
Get your free ticket here https://events.humanitix.com/plastic-free-july-launch-party
We all know WHY we need to reduce our waste. Our planet is drowning in it. Extracting resources from the earth, using them badly and throwing them away as waste and pollution is not sustainable.
Need some inspiration on things you can do?
There's so much fantastic information online, so let's dive in.
The Rubbish Trip
Hannah Blumhardt and Liam Prince are an amazing young couple who have been travelling around New Zealand for the past 3 years running free workshops on how to reduce your household rubbish. They call themselves the No Waste Nomads. Wastebusters was lucky enough to host them in the Matakana Hall in 2017, again in Warkworth in Sept 2018 and they've been back again in Leigh in 2019.
Not only do Hannah and Liam give out valuable information on everything from alternatives to packaging and making your own toothpaste and face cream, but they also compile regional shopping guides in all the places they visit giving zero waste options.
How's this for an idea? Make your own all-purpose household cleanser out of citrus peels and vinegar! Imagine how much money that will save you over a year!
Or this one. Make your own pesto and crackers. Quick, easy and no packaging.
Not ony will you will find many ideas to inspire you on Hannah and Liam's website, there is also great information on waste in general and what's happening politically, as well as podcasts.
Waveney Warth and Matthew Luxon decided to live rubbish free for a year and to document their progress as they went. Their website is chock full of helpful tips and 50 articles on living zero waste, covering everything from from bulk foods to razors to making your own bread. The bread is delicious - I have tried it myself and can highly recommend it!
Matthew & Waveney and their delicious zero waste home made bread.
Compost your food scraps
One of the most effective things you can do to reduce your household waste is to compost your food scraps. Nearly half of Auckland's landfill waste is food scraps and garden waste. And whilst Auckland Council will be introducing a food scrap collection service for urban Auckland soon, it will not extend to North Rodney.
Composting is easy and there are several different ways to do it including worm bins and bokashi bins.
The Compost Collective runs free courses all over Auckland and they also have great online materials. If you'd like a course near you, or some advice, send them an email. You can also get a discount off a compost system (sponsored by Auckland Council) if you attend one of their courses.
Do you ever wonder what happens to your recycling and whether it really gets re-processed into new products? At Wastebusters we are always looking for places that sustainably and properly recycle materials so that we can divert them from landfill.
Some products like scrap metal and car/truck batteries have good value and we can sell them and get a return, so these are free for you to drop off. But others cost us money to send away, more than what they are worth, so we have to charge for them. Check out our up-to-date pricelist for details.
This is what happens to the recycling you drop off to us.
Glass bottles - are colour sorted and sent to Reclaim in Auckland where they arrange for them to be re-manufactured into new glass containers by OI Glass in Penrose, which has been manufacturing glass in New Zealand since 1922.
Plastics numbers 1 and 2 are the highest quality of the plastics and we send them Reclaim in Auckland. From there number 1 plastics go to Flight Plastics in Wellington where they are manufactured into new plastic containers which have no less than 60% recycled plastic in them. Number 2 plastics go to to be made into drainage pipes. Sadly, we don't have anywhere to send the lesser value plastics 3 - 7 at the moment, and these have to go to landfill.
Aluminium cans go to Endless Metals in Auckland for recycling, as do non-ferrous metals. Car batteries and electrical cables also go to Endless Metals.
Tins and other scrap metals go to SIMS Pacific Metals in Auckland.
Polystyrene goes to Abilities Group in Auckland, where it is compacted into bricks and sent to China for manufacturing into other products such as picture frames. Abilities is a non-profit, incorporated society dedicated to enriching the lives of people with disabilities through meaningful work.
Abilities also takes our e-waste for proper recycling. Abilities are holders of a Basel Permit to export printed circuit boards to Japan for processing to extract the precious metals. This reduces the dependency on underground mining for the same resources.
Gas bottles go to Matagas in Auckland.
Clear film is sent to Reclaim in Auckland.
Scrap timber is sent to Green Gorilla in Auckland where it is shredded and sent to Golden Bay Cement in Whangarei for fuel.
Tyres are sent to Waste Management where the metal is stripped out and the tyres are shredded for re-use, some of it in roading.
Fluorescent lamps and tubes are sent to Interwaste in Auckland. Fluorescent lamps contain mercury, a highly toxic waste, which, if disposed of irresponsibly can pollute waterways and damage the environment. Interwaste has developed a unique process for the separation and recycling of mercury.
Silage wrap goes to Plasback where it is manufactured in to Tuffboard, which is a plywood replacement product and can be used in a variety of applications and locations on farm.
Remember, if you sort and compact your load it will be cheaper as we charge by volume.
Paper and cardboard recycling collected from kerbside in Auckland will resume as normal for May, as Auckland Council has now been able to secure an overseas market for up to 4,000 tonnes of mixed paper and cardboard. The markets are volatile, but we will keep you updated.
Whilst we are pleased it won't now be sent to landfill, we still suggest using it at home wherever you can, as sending it overseas for recycling has a big ecological footprint!
Take the advice of Alexandra and her pet sheep: compost it together with your kitchen scraps, line garden beds with it or make crafts, make paper clay, mini journals or use it for building activities with kids.... there are so many uses! Or if you have a wood burner, use it to light your fire over winter.
Auckland's kerbside collected paper and cardboard recycling is currently going to landfill
because the paper mills in India where it was supposed to go for recycling have closed as a result of COVID-19.
What else can you do with it? Here are some ideas: compost it together with your kitchen scraps, line garden beds with it or make crafts, make paper clay, mini journals or use it for building activities with kids.... there are so many uses! Or if you have a wood burner, use it to light your fire over winter.
If you can, avoid accepting paper bags - instead use your re-usable cloth bags when shopping and wash them. Just throw them in the washing machine and they will be completely safe to re-use, even in the COVID-19 environment.
Paper and cardboard produce large amounts of methane in the anaerobic landfill environment (i.e. no oxygen). It’s a little known fact that the methane production from paper and cardboard in landfill is actually much higher than from food waste. The bottom line is that we don’t want paper and cardboard going to landfill.
We encourage you to do what you can to avoid putting paper and cardboard into your recycling bin at the moment during the COVID-19 Pandemic shutdown. We'll let you know when it can be properly recycled again.
Our zero waste eco-warriors, Daniel and Alexandra, making a wonderful sign using home-made paint - cornflour, water and food colouring! Very creative and non-toxic.
Even the sheep was impressed!
You'll be pleased to know we've been given the go-ahead to re-open our Refuse and Recycling Centres under COVID-19 level 3. We've been getting lots of feedback from our communities that you're waiting, having had big clean outs in the garden and all around your properties during lockdown level 4. Please remember, we do not take paint, oil, asbestos or fish bait.
Rustybrook Rd in Wellsford will open on Wednesday 29 April, 10 am - 2 pm.
Lawrie Rd in Snells Beach will open on Thursday 30 April, 8.30 to 4 pm.
From then on the usual timetable will apply.
Don't forget - you will be charged on volume, so if you compact your loads you will pay less. Try to compress them as much as possible. And make sure you separate green waste from rubbish. Green waste is cheaper, but if it is all mixed up with rubbish we will have to charge you the higher rate.
Rubbish bags - $4
Northland Waste pre-pay bags - FREE
Car boot load - $31
SUV/SW - $51
per m3 - $65
Bag - $3
Car boot load - $21
SUV/SW - $30
per m3 - $39
Please be patient and kind to our staff when you arrive - we are expecting a big rush and our staff's highest priority is to keep you and themselves safe. Health and safety requirements will apply including only two people per vehicle on site and customers emptying their own loads. See website for further details.
As soon as there is a change of COVID-19 levels and we are permitted to take recycling or re-usuable items we'll let you know. In the meantime please use your kerbside collection for recycling. But save up any re-usable or repairable items for us when the levels change.
We're devoted to zero waste, and have wonderful local, wastebusters like Trish Allen, who will be sharing tips on reducing waste and keeping you up to date with what is happening at our Lawrie and Rustrybrook Road sites.