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Zero-waste grant helps Sylvia Park keep food waste out of landfill

Published: 26 September 2017
In the new scheme’s first month, Sylvia Park diverted 9.4 tonnes of food waste from landfill.

For Sylvia Park, a ‘zero-waste’ grant from Auckland Council has saved hundreds of tonnes of food waste from going to landfill.

The busy shopping mall, run by Kiwi Property, received a $50,000 grant in September 2016 to help it reduce food waste being sent to landfill from the waste dock that services the Food Court.

In the new scheme’s first month, Sylvia Park diverted 9.4 tonnes of food waste from landfill, sending 44 per cent less waste to landfill from that dock than the same month from the previous year.

They have now diverted more than 150 tonnes of food waste from landfill, the recycling rate at the dock is consistently 75 per cent, and they’ve used 20 tonnes of coffee grinds on their onsite garden.

From garbage guts to food saver – what did they do?

A food-waste collection was started, businesses in the food court were given advice, and staff were upskilled to make sure everyone was working together towards the same goal.

Rubbish and recycling bins were also removed from the food court, encouraging the public to leave trays on tables for staff to clear. This made it much easier to sort waste correctly.

“Everyone was really on board with it,” says Len Harris, Facilities Manager. “We made sure we gave them the tools, education and support to be able to accomplish it.

“We also did checks, and if we found a particular business was having trouble complying, we went back to them, had a chat and tried to find out how we could help them participate.

“Everyone really worked together to make it happen.”

Mr Harris says Kiwi Property is now looking to implement changes across the remaining docks at Sylvia Park, as well as other properties they run across the country.

Have you got a great ‘zero waste’ idea?

There's still time to apply for a grant of up to $50,000 from Auckland Council’s Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund (WMIF). Applications close 30 September. 

If you’re a business, iwi/Māori, or an education or community group with a project that will help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, you could be eligible to apply.

Visit the Auckland Council website, email aucklandwastefund@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or call 09 301 0101 to find out more.