Hutt City Council has approved a plan to transition our city and the Wellington region to a circular economy over the next six years and beyond.
At its meeting on 12 December, Council unanimously agreed to adopt the Wellington Region Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2023-2029 (WMMP). This plan creates a pathway for everyone in the region to work together to care for our resources – for less waste and a greater place.
Hutt City Council is joining with the rest of Wellington region’s councils to develop this plan, which is reviewed every six years as a legal requirement under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.
“This plan signals an important shift in focus from disposal to retaining the value of resources in a circular economy,” said Councillor Andy Mitchell, an active conservationist who chairs the Lower Hutt branch of Forest and Bird. “By improving resource recovery [the recovering of waste for new uses], we can reduce demand for the planet’s raw materials and extend the life of our landfills for disposal as a last resort.”
Some region-wide goals include:
- Ensuring the availability of construction and demolition waste processing and recovery by 2026
- Providing organic processing systems by 2029
- Adding five new resource recovery locations to the existing network by 2030
Consultation on the WMMP took place in August and September. There were close to 200 written and oral submissions from individuals, businesses and other organisations from Lower Hutt and across the region.
Hutt City Council’s local action plan includes actions designed to help the city shift from just managing waste to focusing on reducing, reusing, and recycling.
- Assist local businesses with waste minimisation practices by offering free waste audits, presentations and supporting solutions
- Support development of regional resource recovery networks to minimise waste and move to a circular economy. This could include, but is not limited to, options for organic waste, construction and demolition waste, biosolids, materials recovery facilities, and a region wide resource recovery network
- Advocate for better waste solutions to central government and other national bodies of influence
Hutt City Council’s Director Environment & Sustainability, Alison Geddes, said: “The plan is only the first step: now, the focus turns to implementing the various initiatives that result in greater resource recovery and progression towards a circular economy.”
The targets in the WMMP align with the Government’s waste management and minimisation expectations as outlined in the Te rautaki para (The New Zealand Waste Strategy).