Government recycling investment is a win for our climate and environment

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The government’s proposed $124 million investment in recycling is a “win for employment, climate and environment” says a local Bay of Plenty waste campaigner, Marty Hoffart.

Environment minister, Eugenie Sage, has announced the government will be funding new recycling infrastructure and expanding the national waste levy scheme.

This plan will see a big increase in dumping fees at landfills for domestic and commercial users and aims to encourage and facilitate recycling habits throughout the country.

Hoffart, chairperson of the Zero Waste Network Aotearoa, has been calling for more action from the government on a waste levy.

He says the government’s plan contains “bold and important steps” that will create employment in communities right throughout the country, reduce emissions and address the crisis in plastic and food waste.

“People across the country know that recycling is not working. The $124 million investment will build onshore capacity for real recycling.

“We don’t want to see more recycling going to landfills and don’t want it shipped offshore to pollute other places.”

The next four years will see a steady increase in the levy rate for landfills, taking household waste from the current $10 per tonne, to $60 per tonne. The first changes will take effect from July 1 2021.

“New Zealanders are proud of our country’s clean, green reputation,” Eugenie said, “we need large scale and urgent action because much of what is currently sent to New Zealand landfills could be recycled, composted or reused.”

Marty says reuse and recycling are major job creators. It provides opportunities to use materials and builds community resilience to change.

“Resource recovery is the future.”

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