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Published: 2002-01-23 00:00:00

Do you know if your firm generates hazardous waste?

A month-long telephone survey of businesses that generate hazardous waste begins this week in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regions.

Project spokesperson Amanda Hunt of Environment BoP said businesses like motor vehicle trades, dry cleaners, photo labs, hospitals and metal finishers would be phoned, as well as a range of manufacturing operations.

“We will also interview wastewater treatment plant and landfill operators, and waste contractors accepting hazardous waste. The survey results will tell us more about the types of hazardous wastes generated by businesses in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato, how they are managed and where they are disposed of.”

Little is known currently about how much hazardous waste is produced in the two regions or what happens to it. The survey of about 1600 firms will help Environment BoP and Environment Waikato identify and manage any adverse environmental effects of hazardous wastes.

“The survey will help us plan for the safe long-term management of hazardous waste in the two regions. We will also be able to identify which types of businesses can benefit most from waste minimisation. This will help them to improve their economic bottom line, and us to protect the environment,” Ms Hunt said.

All information will be confidential to encourage firms to contribute to an accurate picture of the real waste situation in the Regions.

“The intention is to gain an overall picture of what is happening with hazardous waste in the two Regions, not target individual businesses.

“This joint project is a great opportunity for the two Regions to work together,” Ms Hunt says. “Waste crosses local government boundaries. To manage the environment effectively, we need to know where it goes as well as where it comes from.”

Another aim of the survey is to help Ministry for the Environment check the tools it has recently developed to identify and manage hazardous waste, including environmental performance indicators, a definition of hazardous waste and the New Zealand waste list.

The survey findings are expected to be released in May 2002, and all participating businesses will be sent a summary.

Anyone wanting to know more about the survey can call Amanda Hunt on 0800 368 267.

This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.