Zero waste innovators get funding boost

Projects from the Hibiscus Coast down to Howick are helping businesses and households manage their food waste. Photo Auckland Council

More than 30 organisations and businesses are receiving a boost in funding from Auckland Council’s Waste Minimisation Innovation Fund (WMIF).

Collectively, the 32 grant recipients – including two to local groups [see below] – will receive $528,782 for a range of projects designed to promote waste minimisation and reduce waste to landfill. Textile waste, fire extinguisher powder, polystyrene, medical supplies, and milk kegs are all getting a glow up through new recycling initiatives.

Councillor Richard Hills, chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, says, “The aim of this fund is to create enduring change in community behaviour and attitudes towards waste.”

The full list of recipients is available on Auckland Council’s website. The waste minimisation activities range from $5000 to $50,000 in funding from the waste levy.

Construction waste

Construction and demolition waste is the largest source of materials to landfill. It’s more than double the waste from all the weekly rubbish collections across Auckland.

“It is encouraging to see more private sector construction and demolition projects measuring their waste and trialling alternatives to landfill,” says Councillor Richard Hills.

“Less than 20 per cent of Auckland’s waste is actually from household collections, so we need private sector partners to help lead the way in their industries. There are already so many great zero waste solutions out there, and this fund gives our community the boost they need to bring the circular economy to life.”

Para kore

The Te Rourou Māpua project from Para Kore Ki Tāmaki plans to create resources for educational programmes designed to upskill marae kai mahi.

Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae are establishing a community compost hub and collection service, using an electric bike and trailer to collect food scraps from local schools in Māngere. Their kumara garden has been admired and enjoyed by Aucklanders for generations.

Composting is very popular

Projects from the Hibiscus Coast down to Howick are helping businesses and households manage their food waste. Overall, 14 projects that keep food scraps from landfill received funding in this grant round. Food waste is almost half the weight of household rubbish, and food scraps release methane when they degrade in a landfill, so composting remains an important climate intervention.

“Aucklanders care about their environment and are committed to preserving it for future generations,” says Parul Sood, general manager Waste Solutions.

“The zero-waste vision is clear from playcentres to youth groups, business associations to construction experts, and marae and community organisations. It is inspiring to see what new ideas are being tried and what classic zero waste strategies are still having a huge impact.”

Clevedon Village Farmers Market Limited
The Clevedon Farmers Market Zero Waste Plan
The project aims to achieve zero waste at Clevedon Village Farmers Market by preventing waste from ending up in the wrong waste streams, increase customer and stall holder engagement in waste minimization and create a circular economy for organic waste within the community.
Funding Amount: $4010.00
Funding for: as a contribution towards a commercial 120L Bokashi system, Ezy Up shelters and equipment (waste pick up tools, gloves, vests) for waste monitors, as outlined in the application.
Project local board: Franklin
Sunnyhills School
Hot composting at Sunnyhills School: A carbon footprint reduction project
To add a hot composting system to the existing composting systems at the school to reduce organic waste produced on site.
Funding Amount: $3714.78
Funding for: as a contribution towards three Carbon Cycle composters, as outlined in the application.
Project local board: Howick