Three Waiheke Island-based environmental organisations have been recognised for their innovative solutions to tackling household and commercial waste.
The organisations are working on recycling construction waste, reducing soft plastic use and improving composting and have received funding from Auckland Council's Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund.
Waiheke Local Board Chair Cath Handley said the grants were a fantastic result for the organisations and warmly congratulated the recipients.
“The future of Waiheke is in good hands with so many environmental endeavours on the island. The board is excited about these ambitious and important projects,” she said.
$50,000 grant for The Rubbish Company
The Rubbish Company owner Jeremy O’Hanlon said he would not be working towards his goal of diverting 10 tons of construction waste per week from landfill if it weren’t for the grant of almost $50,000.
He said construction waste accounted for a vast percentage of waste from Waiheke and he was sick of his company being part of the problem.
From March, residents will be able to order a recyclable skip bin for construction waste from the Rubbish Company. Waste that can be reused locally will be sorted from that which needs to be sent off the island for recycling.
O’Hanlon said he would recommend the grants to everyone who had a project like his. “It’s a good process and it makes you think carefully about what you’re doing.”
Funding allows Waiheke Resources Trust to expand
Another Waiheke grant recipient is the Waiheke Resources Trust.
The trust, which works to protect natural resources, was awarded almost $50,000 to expand the scope of its commercial composting operation.
Manager Michael Maahs said the trust was currently running at maximum capacity and so the grant was vital in helping them grow. “It means aggressive expansion.”
Plastic-reduction a focus
The third recipient of a grant of almost $10,000 was Plastic Free Solutions, which is aiming to reduce the use of soft plastics through the use of glass jars to distribute and sell bulk food.
About Auckland Council’s Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund
- Funding for the Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund comes from the national waste levy (currently set at $10 per tonne) which is administered by the Ministry for the Environment.
- The fund has $500,000 to distribute annually, with one funding round per year for grants of over $5000 and up to $50,000 (September) and two funding rounds for grants of $5000 and under (April and September).
- The WMIF was adopted in 2013 and was designed to support projects and innovative solutions that promote or achieve waste management and minimisation, reduce waste to landfill in accordance with the objectives of the Auckland Council Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, and foster new ideas and encourage community participation in reducing waste to landfill.
- The fund is open to community groups, businesses, iwi, Māori organisations, early childhood centres, schools, tertiary organisations and other community-based organisations operating in the Auckland region.