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Waikato Regional Waste Infrastructure Stocktake and Strategic Assessment

Report: TR 2007/44
Author: Sinclair Knight Merz Ltd


A stocktake of reasonably readily available information about solid waste and recovered materials flows and facilities in the Waikato region was undertaken. This involved key stakeholders: local authorities, waste and recycling companies and the broader business community. An assessment of materials that could be recovered included consideration of the capacity in the region for that product to be handled or processed and the capability or level of expertise and technology available for collection, sorting or processing of materials. Key changes in the 'waste landscape' were identified along with strategic opportunities for improvement.

Maps were produced showing an overview of 1) the main general waste and recycling commodity flows around and beyond the region, and 2) the organic waste flows. The waste collection and disposal market is governed by landfill location and transport distance/cost rather than local authority boundaries so the Waikato receives and contributes waste to its neighbouring areas. The composition of municipal Waikato waste was similar to that found in national estimates.

While volumes of products captured for recycling is increasing, the volume of municipal waste disposed to landfill is reasonably stable. This volume is matched by a similar amount to unconsented and consented cleanfills with an additional volume of waste disposed to dedicated industrial waste landfills. Notably, the greatest volumes of waste being produced are outside the direct management of the district councils and the volumes of some waste types to be diverted from landfill are falling behind the level needed to meet the targets in the New Zealand Waste Strategy. The largest volumes of waste diverted from landfill are waste from the wood processing industry being used as boiler fuel and the land application of high strength organic wastes from dairy and meat processing.

Greenwaste offers the greatest scope for improved recovery if barriers to the collection of garden and wood waste and their use in composting and bioenergy can be overcome. Similar potential exists for other organic wastes such as food and other processing wastes, and biosolids. Construction and demolition waste is the second large-volume waste with potential for recovery.

A series of follow up actions are recommended for Waikato local authorities and major organic waste generators from further, more detailed, review of options for organic waste streams through to developing a comprehensive regional waste infrastructure investment plan.

Waikato Regional Waste Infrastructure Stocktake and Strategic Assessment
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Table of contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Methodology 1
3 Disposal and recovery estimates 2
3.1 Waste disposal and recovery infrastructure 2
3.2 Disposal facilities and processing recovery facilities in the Waikato 3
3.3 Waste and recovered materials movements 10
3.4 Waste disposed to landfill and cleanfill? 13
3.4.1 General comments 13
3.4.2 Estimates of waste quantities disposed to landfill 13
3.4.3 Waste composition 14
3.5 Waste diverted from landfill and cleanfill disposal 15
3.6 Diversion performance against targets 16
3.7 Summary of disposal and recovery data 17
4 Current recycling and recovery infrastructure for the Waikato 18
4.1 Summary of current recovery 18
4.2 Commodities 19
4.2.1 Sorting and consolidation 19
4.2.2 Utilisation of recycling commodities 19
4.3 Processing of organic waste materials 20
4.4 Management of special wastes 21
4.4.1 Waste electronic equipment (e-waste) 21
4.4.2 Tyres 22
4.4.3 Liquid and hazardous wastes 22
4.4.4 Used oil 23
4.4.5 Agricultural plastics 23
4.4.6 Unwanted paint and paint tins 23
4.4.7 Construction and demolition waste 24
4.5 Capacity and capability - a summary 24
4.6 Other diversion and reuse in the Waikato 24
5 The current and future context 25
5.1 Current approaches to the way waste is managed in New Zealand 25
5.1.1 Waste disposal 25
5.1.2 Waste and recycling collection services 25
5.1.3 Waste industry 26
5.1.4 Waste generators 26
5.2 Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill 26
5.3 The New Zealand Energy Strategy 27
5.4 The Waikato Regional Energy Strategy 28
5.5 Export market standards and expectations 29
5.6 Compost NZ/compost standard 29
5.7 Construction and demolition waste initiative 29
5.8 New Zealand waste sector consolidation and investment 30
5.9 Hazardous waste management in New Zealand 31
5.10 Industry trends in the Waikato region 31
5.10.1 Changes in the dairy industry 31
5.10.2 The wood waste market in the Waikato 31
6 Gaps and opportunities 32
6.1 Waste in the Waikato region - the big picture 32
6.2 Recoverable materials in the Waikato 34
6.2.1 Overview of recoverable materials 34
6.2.2 Green/garden waste 35
6.2.3 Other organic waste 36
6.2.4 Construction and demolition waste 37
6.2.5 Waste paper/cardboard 38
6.2.6 Scrap metal 38
6.2.7 Waste glass 39
6.2.8 Waste plastics 39
6.2.9 Other wastes 39
6.3 Implementing best practice in the Waikato 40
6.3.1 Waste minimisation 40
6.3.2 Collection and logistics 41
6.3.3 Waste and recovered materials processing 41
6.4 Opportunities for minimising waste in the Waikato region 42
6.4.1 Overview of opportunities 42
6.4.2 Opportunity 1 - Organic waste processing 43
6.4.3 Opportunity 2 - Establishing a modern materials recovery facility 44
6.4.4 Opportunity 3 - Ongoing market development 44
6.4.5 Opportunity 4 - Local authority - business collaboration 46
6.4.6 Opportunity 5 - A waste infrastructure investment plan 46
7 Conclusion and recommendations 48
7.1 Conclusion 48
7.2 Recommendations 48