Spotlight on ocean pollution

Several important things are happening that will help highlight the problem of ocean plastics in Aotearoa and the Pacific.

A research foundation set up by Captain Charles Moore after the discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – The Algalita Marine Research Foundation – are establishing a South Pacific branch. The Algalita is the vessel who first discovered the north pacific garbage patch – and they are a important champion of reducing ocean waste. Earlier this year they had an expedition to the South Pacific and found a plastic patch roughly comparable to the North Pacific one and tracked a significant amount of NZ waste in it. Check out this article

In February 2018, a visit from two ocean pollution campaigners will highlight the issue. Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins co-founded the 5 Gyres Institute which is dedicated to studying gyres and working tirelessly around the world to reduce ocean waste. The 5 Gyres Institute has provided much of what we today know about ocean current behaviours and waste. Marcus and Anna will be speaking in Whaingaroa, Ahuriri (Napier Aquarium) and Whanganui-a-Tara at the Waka Odyssey Festival. They will also be training our ocean voyaging waka crews in plastic surveying so these crews can collect data and raise consciousness across the Pacific islands as they voyage. The first coastal transect of microplastic surveys will occur on board Te Matau a Maui with a crew of East Coast youth in February as it voyages down the East Coast to the Festival in Whanganui a Tara.

Marcus and Anna’s trip being supported by Massey University and the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea, along with Tina Ngata – The Non-Plastic Māori. Tina’s facebook page is a good plastic to get updates. You can listen to a great interview with Marcus from a few months back on Radio NZ here.

Resource Recovery Training

Our new training programme kicked off this month in Auckland, hosted by MPHS at their recycling shop at the Waitakere Transfer Station. The two-day course covers zero waste concepts and theory, as well as .

We had a great response from participants who said the course gave a great overview of the sector and that getting to see the practical side of an operation offers important learnings too.

We will be offering the course again in Auckland at least a couple of times in 2018, as well as a second course: ‘Resource Recovery – Management’, which will be suitable for those in management and governance positions and will be held in May.

A big thanks to Auckland Council for their support of this project.

Compost time in Raglan

Update on the Raglan foodwaste collection project:

In August 2017 Xtreme Zero Waste rolled out Raglan’s kerbside foodwaste collection. The Xtreme team are really impressed with the uptake of the service both in terms of numbers of households contributing and the way people are following the guidelines.  The gear is working well –  XZW are getting good feedback on the household equipment from the community, and their new hybrid, left hand drive/exit truck is ideal for the one driver/collector operator.

They have been collecting 1.5 to 2 tonnes of foodwaste per week and mixing it with shredded garden waste to make hot compost in our Horizontal Composting Unit.  This system is super effective and can produce finished compost in 12-15 weeks. Check out the steam coming from the mixed pile below. 

Marty is awesome!

Our chairman, Marty Hoffart, has been honoured for his service to the community at the Kiwibank Local Hero awards for the Bay of Plenty. Many of you probably know how hardworking and passionate Marty is about reducing waste, and won’t be surprised to to see him recognised for this, but it’s wonderful that other people think he’s great too!

In addition to being one of the key people in our network Marty co-founded Environmental Education for Resource Sustainability (EERST), recently set up the Tauranga branch of Keep New Zealand Beautiful, sits on the NZ Product Stewardship Council and runs Waste Watchers, his waste consultancy business.

Uno magazine recently wrote a very nice article about him, in which he of course managed to get a plug-in for container deposit system.

You’re awesome Marty, and we’re very proud of you!


Resource Recovery Study Tour

The next study tour bought to you by Envision and WasteMINZ has just been announced, this time taking in Auckland and Waikato on 22 and 23 March 2018.

The tour will be a first-hand opportunity to experience both community-led and commercial resource recovery activities and includes visits to two Zero Waste Network members; Devonport CRC and Xtreme Zero Waste.

It’s designed for council officers, politicians and community organisations who want to support and enable resource recovery in their communities.

You will be hosted by community recycling and resource recovery guru Matthew Luxon and WasteMINZ Chief Executive Paul Evans.

More information and booking can be found at the WasteMINZ website here