CompostingThere are 12 composting facilities in New Zealand and three community-based facilities that currently accept compostable packaging.There are a range of methods to create compost with facilities needing to apply for resource consent to operate. Due to what consent they are able to achieve depicts what type of materials they can accept. Composting facilities in New Zealand are generally classified as:Greenwaste Processing Facilities –These facilities process garden waste, bark and wood chip to make compost or mulch and generally don’t have a resource consent or an appropriate composting process to accept food waste or compostable packaging.Industrial Composting Facilities -These facilities process complex waste streams such as food waste, waste from abattoirs or fish processing facilities, sludge etc. and are more likely to be able to process compostable packaging. However, resource consent conditions can vary and may not allow for compostable packaging. For a list of these facilities please refer to the WASTEMINZ website or use this URL:
Recycling in New Zealand is split into curbside and commercial. Curbside recycling is the easiest option for domestic waste as it is collected from your house and sorted into separate types of materials. What you are able to recycle is dependent on what facilities your council has available. Check your local council’s website for more information. At a commercial level Reclaim can collect paper, board, plastic and glass from businesses. They sort them and then have the products recycled either locally or internationally. Visy recycling, Green Gorilla, Envirowaste and Waste Management are other major operators that collect and sort waste.
Many people believe that items will eventually breakdown if they are left out in the weather for a long enough time. When rubbish is out of sight it is often no longer deemed as a problem for the public. But your items could be going to landfill where a variety of materials are left to breakdown. Even if your biodegradable or compostable items make it here they will most likely not have the right environment to break down. The extent to which a biodegradable or compostable item will break down is reliant on the amount of air, water and microbial activity.