Waste Education and Resources

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Waste Minimisation Plan

Ashburton District Council adopted its Waste Management and Waste Minimisation Plan in 2016.  The plan sets out Councils vision, goals, objectives and specific strategies to promote waste minimisation and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Our vision for the future is working towards zero waste.

Much of the waste currently sent to landfill can be reused, recycled or recovered. Diverting this waste from landfill saves money and is good for our environment. Below are resources that are available to help you and your family minimise waste and reduce waste that ends up in landfill:

Waste education​​​

Council provides a free, local education programme for waste minimisation, recycling and water conservation.

The free education sessions focus on recycling, waste minimisation, source separation,  resource recovery and water conservation. These sessions are available to schools, individuals and groups. An Education Centre is located at the Ashburton Resource Recovery Park adjacent to the re-use shop.  The centre is open to the public, and features static displays and regularly hosts public education sessions. 

For more information on the education programme please contact Eco Educate on 0800 326 338.​

Kate Meads Waste-Free Parenting Workshops and Food Lovers Masterclasses​​ 

Waste Free Parenting Workshops

This is a humorous, entertaining and inspirational event full of tips and ideas around ways you can minimise waste in your home, especially with young children in the house. You'll receive a free pack bursting with waste minimisation products with each ticket.​ A workshop was held in February 2018 with a further round of workshops will be held in November 2018.

View the ticketing info for November and join the Facebook event.

Food Lovers Masterclasses

At this educational masterclass, not only will you receive $100 worth of goodies from Ashburton District Council, you will get lots of exciting and inspirational advice around ways you can reduce your food waste. Learn about what Kiwis waste and how we can save money, plus many other interesting facts, like what's the difference between 'use by' and 'best before' dates.​

View the ticketing info for November 2018 and join the Facebook event.

If you are keen to know more, visit the Kate Meads website.

Love Food Hate Waste NZ

New Zealand families waste about $560 of food every year that ends up uneaten in rubbish bins. This adds up to a staggering $872 million for the whole country and equates to 122,000 tonnes of edible food going into landfill and generating greenhouse gases.

Ashburton District Council is proud to be a part of the national Love Food Hate Waste NZ campaign which aims to turn this wastefulness around by inspiring and enabling people to waste less food.

For practical tips on how to reduce your own food waste and save money visit lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz

​​​Recycling for kids

Looking for ways to educate children about recycling? Check out these fun resources:

  • Science Kids – recycling facts for kids
  • Activity Village – a UK website with resources for children on recycling
  • Recycle City– Game suitable for year 7-9 students. It helps children learn about the different ways of disposing waste​

​​Compostable alternatives to plastic packaging

Consumer demand for alternatives to plastic packaging and a desire from businesses to lessen their environmental impact has led to a variety of new packaging choices. Sometimes, it is difficult to work out what all of these terms mean and - importantly, where these products will end up after they've been used.​

A WasteMINZ working group has therefore developed these guides to help people understand the alternatives to plastic packaging.​

The guides cover:

  • ​The standards that confirm if a product is genuinely compostable
  • The terms that can be mis-used and cause confusion, such as 'biodegradable' and 'degradable'
  • The best end of life disposal options for each product type. Only certified compostable packaging can be composted and not all commerical composters accept all types of compostable packaging.​ Materials advertised as oxo-degradable, degradable or biodegradable, without specifying a composting environment need to go to landfill, as they cannot be composted or recycled and can break down into microplastics if left in the open, marine or freshwater environments.

The guides are  below:

The list of facilities which accepts compostable packaging is available to view on the WasteMINZ website​.​

Stone paper - is it recyclable?

'Stone paper' has been shown on TV as being a product that is better for the environment than paper produced from wood pulp. While that may be the case with regard to how it is produced, unfortunately it can't be recycled in Canterbury.

Stone paper is calcium carbonate bonded with HDPE (number 2 plastics). It is classed as a plastic, not paper, but it is a mixed-material and we can't accept it for recycling in the kerbside collection bin or at the resource recovery parks.

EcoCentral, which processes our paper and plastics, says stone paper would most likely be a contaminate in the mixed plastics stream, and while it appears it can be recycled in either number 2 plastics or back into stone paper, for this to be successful it would need to be collected and processed separately to their recycling processes. There is no collection channel in Australiasia to send the waste paper back to for recycling.

​​The suppliers state that stone paper is photo-degradable, reverting to calcium carbonate in extended sunshine and the resin is absorbed by the atmosphere without harmful effects. It will take 12 to 18 months to break down, dependent on which product is involved, and as it is not bio-degradable it cannot be composted.​​​​​​​

Not-for-profit organisations and national bodies

​If you'd like more information about waste minimisation and reduction, check out these not-for-profit organisations:​​​​

CANZ Back 
Community Recycling Network
Earth911Environmental Education for Resource Sustainability Trust
Freecycle.org​​The Glass Packaging Forum
Keep New Zealand BeautifulOne Planet eBook
The Packaging Council of New Zealand (PAC.NZ)Plastics New Zealand
Recycling ElectronicsScrap Metal Recycling Association of New Zealand
Sustainable Business NetworkSustainable Coastlines
Target SustainabilityTyreWise​​
WasteMINZ​​Xtreme waste
ZeroWaste New Zealand​​​

Page reviewed: 08 May 2019 12:18pm