Wellingtonians! Consultation is now open on the Wellington City Council Proposed Solid Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw 2020!
You have until 5pm on 25 September 2020 to make a submission.
The Rubbish Trip is sharing this blog post to:
a) give you an outline of what the Council is proposing
b) give you our take on it (scroll to the end of this post to find our full joint submission that we have prepared alongside Sustainability Trust, Wellington Waste Managers and Kaicycle).
First things first… what is the Council proposing?
The Council is proposing a new bylaw to help fix some issues that are getting in the way of effective waste management and minimisation in the Greater Wellington region. These issues came up during a review of current waste management bylaw provisions. This review process happens once every 10 years. So, the present proposal is a ‘once in a decade’ opportunity to get the best bylaw possible to move Wellington that bit closer to being waste-free.
The proposal recommends a new, standalone Bylaw, accompanied by “Controls” (binding rules that Council can make by resolution once the bylaw is passed). You can read all the proposal documents (including the Council’s handy summary document) here.
In a nutshell, the proposed bylaw and controls will:
→ Give Council the ability to set “Controls” on key waste & recycling matters
That’s things like what people are allowed to put in their waste & recycling bins, the types of bins that can be used, things that are allowed or aren’t allowed in the landfill, and other matters.
→ Set waste & recycling expectations for owners, managers, occupiers, waste collectors & waste operators
For example, we will all be required to:
- Separate waste and recycling into the right bins.
- Use only Council-approved bins
- Not put prohibited waste in bins or more than 10% green waste (see the list of prohibited waste in proposed cl 6 and proposed Control 2.15).
- Leave waste and recycling bins in a safe location out the way of traffic and people, and ensure they’re secured so that waste doesn’t blow out or vermin sneak in.
- Only pick up waste and recycling at specified times from approved collection points.
- Ensure waste and recycling is sufficiently covered when transported so that it doesn’t fall on the road.
→ Get tougher on what can go in rubbish bins or be dumped at the Southern Landfill
Certain waste streams and items will be prohibited from rubbish bins and the Southern Landfill (see the list in proposed cl 6 and proposed control 2.15). People entering the Southern Landfill will be required to separate green waste from general waste, and to separate out hazardous substances, lead acid batteries, recyclable paper, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, aluminium cans, compostable garden waste, steel cans, tyres. Council will have the right to reuse to dispose of items or materials that could reasonably be expected to be diverted.
→ Introduce a mandatory registration (licensing) system for all waste collectors & waste operators handling more than 20 tonnes of waste a year
This will help Council keep a quality control on these services and improve the data gathered on Wellington’s waste and recycling.
→ Set rules about waste & recycling at multi-unit developments (i.e. 10 or more residential units)
- Owners/managers of existing and new multi-unit developments will have to provide waste and recycling facilities and ensure waste and recycling collection services.
- Owners/managers of planned multi-unit developments will have to prepare a waste management plan (for Council approval) before construction begins.
And a heads up that Council won’t be providing waste & recycling collection services for any new multi-unit developments.
→ Require events to plan their waste & recycling systems in advance
All events of 1000 people or more will have to prepare a waste management plan at least 30 days before the event starts (for approval by Council) that the event manager must comply with. After the event the Council can require the event manager to provide a waste analysis report.
→ Require greater waste planning and waste reduction for construction & demolition projects
All construction & demolition projects doing building work of $2m or more will have to prepare a waste management plan (for approval by Council). After the build, the Council may require the principal contractor to provide details of waste generated and diverted and any cost savings.
→ Crack down on unaddressed mail & advertising material
It will no longer be legal to leave unaddressed mail and advertising material in:
- any letterbox marked “no circulars”, “no junk mail”, “addressed mail only” or similar
- on parked cars
- in letterboxes that are already full.
Do you have thoughts on these proposals?
You have until 5pm on 25 September 2020 to have your say. To make a submission, visit this page on the Council website.
Just a heads up that you don’t have to write anything on the Council’s submission form if you don’t want to – it’s enough just to let the Council know if you Agree or Disagree with the proposals using the submission form’s handy check boxes.
If you would like to share your views in writing, there is the option to make written comments in a comment box at the very end of the submission form, so save up your thoughts till the end!
Want to know what we think?
We have joined forces with a number of Wellington-based organisations who are interested in waste to produce a joint written submission. You can read our joint submission here (or scroll down to review it below).