We are calling on the Thames Coromandel District Council to stop sending food waste to landfill and implement other measures that transform waste into a resource.
More specifically, we propose TCDC support home-scale food waste solutions, provide kerbside food waste collection and composting, support food businesses' waste minimisation, and deliver an ongoing education campaign.
Food wastage is a global problem that has lasting effects on the surrounding physical and cultural environment. In Aotearoa-New Zealand, it is estimated that approximately 571,000 tonnes of food waste are dumped in landfills every year. The flow-on effects are seen in soil and water contamination, and the release of greenhouse gases from landfills, which contributes to climate change.
In the Thames-Coromandel district, 60.9% of kerbside rubbish bags are food and organic waste (food/kitchen waste makes up 52.4%, garden and other organic waste is 8.5%).
Thames Coromandel District Council’s (TCDC) solid waste contract is up for renewal shortly. The current contract with Smart Environmental finishes in October 2023, and a new contract needs to be available for tender no later than October 2022. The new contract is likely to run for the next 10 years, until 2033.
This is a window of opportunity within the Council’s waste management planning, to prevent further food waste from going to landfill, and implement other measures that transform waste into resources.
We need to make sure that this contract is part of the solution, and does not continue to send food and organic waste to landfill, when it can otherwise be transformed into resources.
The Council is required to consult with the community on this contract. To avoid filling up our landfills unnecessarily with food waste, the Thames Food Waste Minimisation Group (TFWG), together with the Seagull Centre Trust and Whangamatā Resource Recovery Trust, are calling on TCDC to:
1. Subsidise home-scale food waste solutions such as worm farms or compost bins, as has been done in Taupō.
2. Implement a kerbside food waste collection and composting scheme, alongside existing rubbish and recycling schemes. This is already taking place in Ruapehu, Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch, Auckland, Timaru.
3. Provide free support (e.g. waste audit and a professional advisor ) to businesses that commit to reducing their food waste, as has been done in Taupō.
4. Develop and deliver an education campaign for households and businesses to maximise the use of the previous initiatives, and promote ideas for food waste minimisation (eg. better planning, use of leftovers, sharing excess, composting).
5. Adopt more ambitious waste minimisation goals in the next Long Term Plan (LTP), ensuring sufficient funding is allocated to attain the above initiatives.
TFWG is made of Thames residents that came together a couple of years ago. Our group is made of representatives from the Seagull Centre Trust, Transition Town Thames, and passionate residents. Our vision is that Thames is taking innovative action in whole community food waste reduction, which will help to reduce emissions, conserve resources and increase food security.
To further support this campaign, please answer our 5 min survey here - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfDst-0bRmUiI1guyj3tmbQlKX8P7czhiJPktQXKcWAj6Lvww/viewform?usp=sf_link
THIS SURVEY IS NOW COMPLETED AND HAS BEEN DELIVERED TO COUNCIL.