Each year in Auckland, there is a seasonal spike in the amount of waste and recyclables produced between December and February. In January 2019, we created 9 per cent more recyclable materials and generated 6 per cent more rubbish than on an average month.
While enjoying summer and celebrating holiday festivities over January 2019, Aucklanders generated 3,240 tonnes more overall waste. That’s the equivalent of 114 double decker buses.
Councillor Richard Hills, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, says that waste is everyone’s business and we all have a part to play in cutting back the amount of waste we produce and reducing the flow-on effects to our climate.
“The summer waste spike occurs despite the fact that many Aucklanders leave the city over the summer period,” says Councillor Hills. “So, at a household level, for the people that remain, the percentage increase is actually much greater than 10 per cent.”
Hills says it can sometimes seem that the problem is too big for any one person to tackle. However, to combat the climate emergency we’re facing, he thinks we simply have to do better. So, he’s taking on the challenge in 2020 to keep moving forward with his own personal zero waste journey.
“I read something recently that said we don’t need a few people doing zero waste perfectly. Rather we need millions of people doing zero waste imperfectly. I found that thought very encouraging. We all just need to do what we can. It all adds up. Do you know if each Auckland household reduced their waste by just 1 kilogram over the summer season, this would reduce Auckland’s summer waste by around 18 double-decker buses’ worth every year? So, I’m looking to make some changes in 2020 to do better.”
Top 10 tips for starting your zero-waste journey in 2020:
Auckland’s zero-waste future - New Year, new leaf
As we prepare to welcome in a new decade, what new challenges are you setting for yourself? Will you be inspired to take a single step or even several steps to help Auckland to reach its vision of zero waste to landfill by 2040?
“The task can seem daunting and, some may say, impossible to achieve,” says Parul Sood, General Manager Waste Solutions. “But there are many cities around the world that have set similar targets to us, and even cities that have already achieved zero waste. So, we know it can be done. Every step that any person takes towards reducing their waste does make a difference.”