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Published: 2002-08-15 00:00:00

The Waste Exchange has diverted more than six million litres of rubbish from landfills in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty over the past year.

Exchange Co-ordinator Pippa Russell told this week’s Environment Waikato Environment Committee meeting that businesses large and small were making use of the free local government-sponsored database, which links businesses with waste products with others that can make use of it.

It aims to find alternatives to waste disposal and minimise effects on the environment by matching waste generators with waste re-users.

Exchanges in the last year included 4630 litres of oil and liquids, 738 pallets, 157 bags of material scraps, 182 tonnes of plastic rolls, 1656 cubic metres of plastic, 2340 cubic metres of paper and cardboard, 2852 computer parts, four tonnes of glass, 1000 old wheelie bins and 1638 cubic metres of timber and joinery.

Business had increased 100 percent over the past year, with 500 business clients now registered, she said. Establishing a website had allowed businesses 24-hour access and reduced 0800 telephone enquiries.

Following up clients had resulted in a 77 percent increase in materials wanted and materials available had risen 18 percent, while many existing clients continued with the exchange service for information. The service had also focused on developing continuous exchanges rather than one-off small exchanges, and almost half of the exchanges were now continuous.
About 70 percent of the exchanges were made in the Waikato while more promotion was being done in the Bay of Plenty.

New activities for the new financial year included improvements to the website to include more background information and news alerts, improved six monthly reporting to participating councils, a marketing plan to target businesses in districts such as Taupo and developing relationships and markets with recyclers in the Waikato.