Rethinking Waste - a community conversation
The Gore District Council is launching a project this month to look at the big questions and potential opportunities around waste minimisation.
Called Rethinking Waste, the project centres on community conversations to raise awareness about the problems created by current waste disposal practices and what can be done by individuals and communities to bring about change.
Roading Asset Manager Peter Standring said the driver behind the project was to reduce the amount of waste going into the ground.
“It’s no longer environmental or financially sustainable to put all our rubbish into the ground.
“Rethinking Waste is about encouraging people to think about the waste they create, how they can minimise it, and innovative ways to use it.”
Mr Standring said it was time to be open about what’s happening with waste and recycling.
He acknowledged the Council’s change of service in 2020 was not ideal but said people didn’t realise a lot of so-called recyclables were being bulk stored or sent to landfills.
Instead of “tickling around the edges” of the conversation about waste, it was time to cut to the core of the problem, he said.
Rethinking Waste is led by Dunedin-based sustainability and waste recovery expert Dr Niki Bould from Ahikā Consulting. She has worked on several projects, helping others understand what a low carbon economy, a resilient community or zero waste means for them.
Dr Bould is excited to be working with the Gore District community to talk about rubbish. She believed that recycling was often seen as the solution to all waste problems.
“I see recycling as being one tool in our toolbox of ways to tackle the problem. However, first, we must address how we can collectively reduce our waste and find value in our rubbish.
“In my opinion, it is brave of a council to open up the conversation about waste, as many folks think councils should just get on and remove rubbish from outside their homes.”
She said it was encouraging Rethinking Waste was a community-led initiative – “because waste is a problem that belongs to all of us”.
Join the conversation on our engagement portal Let's Talk