A huge shout out to our waste ambassadors at the Warkworth A&P Show on Saturday for supervising our waste stations, helping the public to get their refuse in the right bin. And big thanks to the show patrons for all your positive comments about our work and for being so interested in what happens to the waste. We are thrilled to have diverted 74.7% from landfill. Of that, nearly 60% was food scraps and compostable coffee cups, cardboard plates and serveware, which will all go into our compost bins at our Lawrie Rd recycling centre tomorrow. In about 3 months it will come out the other end as compost!
Another 16% was recycling (cans, bottles, etc).
And thanks to our local politicians Marja Lubeck (Labour) and Chris Penk (National) for taking the time to come and see what we were doing. We appreciate you taking an interest.
Awesome artwork along the edge of the stream and walkway at Snells Beach by the pupils of Snells Beach School - and what a great message to get across. Taking care of our environment. Well done kids (and sponsors).
We are open our usual hours during Level 3 but unfortunately we are only permitted to take green waste and rubbish. Strict Covid protocols apply. Our shops are closed. We apologies for the inconvenience. We encourage you to save up your recycling, re-usable items for our shop, scrap metal and other items that we can divert from landfill until we are back in Level 2. Thank you!
To our customers who usually drop off their food scraps for our compost, you won't be able to keep them that long without them starting to rot, so maybe bury them in your garden? We look forward to returning to normal service soon.
What a great day out the Bigbuzz Festival was last Sunday! And so lucky to get it in just before Level 3 lockdown on Sunday night! Huge thanks to Grass, Isabella and their team for pulling off this fantastic community event.
We want to say a big thank you to the Wastebusters volunteers who supervised the waste stations and helped the festival goers to know what was compostable, what was recyclable and what was landfill waste. Happily the vast majority of waste was compostable, although sadly we weren't able to weigh it due to lockdown. But we estimate approx. 90% was either compostable or recyclable. Well done team!
We also had an information tent showing lots of alternatives to single use products. And we were showing off 2 bags of our new compost, made on site at our Lawrie Road Recycling Centre.
We are excited to be composting local food and compostable waste at our Community Recycling Centre in Lawrie Rd Snells Beach, turning it into beautiful compost which we'll soon be selling. Thanks to a grant from Auckland Council through the WMIF Fund, we've been able to purchase the equipment we need to set us up to offer this service to those in the community who want to avoid sending their food waste to landfill and who can't compost at home.
We did a trial last year, which was a bit stop/start due to covid. We couldn't operate under levels 4 or 3. So we only really got properly going in Sept/Oct and have only recently had the first batches of compost coming through.
We are delighted to be working with the Matakana Farmers Market which has always been a zero waste market, and they were previously sending their compostables all the way down to Tuakau to be composted at Envirofert. So we are saving all that transport by doing it locally. We are also working with the Sawmill Brewery taking their hops and with Daily Organics Kombucha factory, taking their tea. Since getting the grant we've expanded and are doing a trial with fish skins from the Matakana Smokehouse.
In terms of how it works with the Farmers Market waste, we pick up the compostables which includes food scraps, cardboard plates, serviettes coffee cups etc and put them through a small shredder, then we layer that up in our special Carbon Cycle compost boxes with the correct ratios of carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich materials to create a hot compost (65 degrees) which kills off any pathogens and breaks down the corn starch (PLA) in the coffee cups and lids.
One problem we've had has been with the white compostable forks and knives, as even though it is corn starch, it leaves white flecks in the compost which is not a good look because it looks like plastic. So the market stallholders will change to using wooden or bamboo cutlery. So these are the issues we've been working through in our trial.
Now we will be offering free drop-off at our Recycling Centres for any households wanting to have their food scraps composted. For those buying orange rubbish bags, you'll save money by dropping off your food scraps to us for free, whilst also doing something good for the environment. Food scraps in landfill create methane, a serious greenhouse gas.
We'll be looking into having compost drop off points in other places too, but first we'll have to work out systems for prevention of general waste being dumped into our bins. We'd like to use the Bokashi system to stabilise the food scraps with effective micro organisms so that it ferments and doesn't rot which will mean we can pick up twice weekly and save on transport costs. Watch this space!
Well we know many of you were busy over the Christmas holiday period having a big clean-out because at Wastebusters it was manic! Thank you for your patience on those big days when you had to wait in a queue to off-load your stuff. A lot of people have gone back to work now and things are a bit quieter.
We encourage you to bring your unwanted or updated gifts to our shop, Mahu Mall to recycle them and give someone else the pleasure of owning them. Or come and have a browse - you may find just what you're looking for - from furniture to household or garden items.
We especially encourage you to drop off your e-waste: old computers, phones, photo-copiers, TVs etc. There is a small charge for this, but it is highly important these are disposed of properly because they can contain hazardous materials which need special treatments in order to keep the process of recycling environmentally friendly. They can also contain valuable minerals like gold. At Wastebusters we send e-waste down to Abilities in Auckland who do a thorough and proper job of dis-assembly, Abilities is a non-profit, incorporated society dedicated to enriching the lives of people with disabilities through meaningful work. 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 under ground mining for the same resources.
So come on down to Wastebusters with your e-waste. At Lawrie Rd we're open Thursday to Sunday, and at Rustybrook in Wellsford we're open Wednesday and Saturday.
Heading off to the beach this summer? Whether you're going boating, having a picnic or going camping, take care of our beautiful natural environment by taking care of your waste.
Last chance today to make your submission on phasing out a list of the worst of the single-use plastics. Take 5 minutes - do it now! Click here: https://consult.environment.govt.nz/waste/plastics/
Proposal one is a phase out of hard-to-recycle plastic types like polyvinyl chloride (plastic type 3) food and beverage packaging, polystyrene food and beverage packaging and expanded polystyrene (plastic type 6), and all oxo-degradable plastic items.
Proposal two seeks feedback on phasing-out more single-use plastic items like produce bags, drink stirrers, non-compostable fruit stickers, tableware, some cups and their lids, cotton buds, and straws.
There's heaps more information on the link above if you want to delve deep into it.
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.