The amount of waste Auckland creates is staggering — about 1.2 tonnes a year, according to the Auckland City Council. We are truly a consumer society. As stated in the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, by 2018, the Council aims to reduce domestic kerbside waste by 30%. In this post, we offer ideas for how you can help this happen.

Who cares?

Well, we care. Planet Earth has a finite supply of natural resources. And whenever recyclable waste goes to landfill, more non-renewable resources are needed to make new products.

1. Recycle

Recycling is a subject close to our hearts. And we recycle as much as we can — particularly demolition waste — at our plant in Manukau, South Auckland.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Reuse plastic bags and containers
  • Buy in bulk — this is a good way to avoid unnecessary packaging
  • Avoid disposables — use a reusable cup or bottle

2. Donate

“One person’s trash is another’s treasure”, as they say. So, why chuck out something someone else could use?

To follow are some sites that will help you donate your unwanted goods:

And, of course, you can always give stuff away on Trade Me — or, even better, make some money.

3. Electronic waste

Though e-waste will be accepted in inorganic collections, there are alternatives:

  • Repair — if you have a practical bent, why not try to fix that DVD player? You might be able to sell it.
  • Take-back scheme — some manufacturers offer to take back and recycle a product when you upgrade. 
  • Donate — if your unwanted electronic device still works, you could donate I through some of the sites listed above.

4. Composting

This is nature’s way of recycling organic waste.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Mulch your grass and tree clippings
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn — it might not look so pretty, but doing this enables nutrients to return to the soil. Moisture will be retained in your lawn, and you’ll need to mow it fewer times.

5. Shopping

Shops: the source of much of our waste. Check out our last post on the dangers of plastic packaging.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Use reusable bags — this way you won’t collect that mountain of plastic bags between shopping trips.
  • Choose products with minimal packaging — it takes some effort, but are you serious, or not?
  • Reuse wrapping — most of that wrapping paper you accumulate at Christmas and birthdays can be reused. Alternatively, buy wrapping paper that can be recycled, so not foil or cellophane.

Was this useful? If so, please share.