Trashing Waste: an article in the New Zealand Journal, Policy Quarterly
Recently, Hannah published an article in the journal Policy Quarterly about New Zealand’s waste policy. See the PDF below for the full issue (Hannah’s article starts on p.13).
The article focuses on the neglect of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, the impact that decades of virtual non-action on waste policy has had for NZ’s rubbish and recycling system, and actual things that can be done to change this situation, pronto!
The content of the article is not necessarily new information for waste geeks, but our hope is that it provides a useful summary for the general public – particularly people who would like to know more about the recent history of waste policy in NZ and the kinds of reforms that might be possible, but who don’t necessary want to trawl through screeds of documents to piece this all together for themselves.
Fundamentally, we really want more people to know about what is currently possible in NZ to improve our waste situation because, as you’ll see from the article, one of the barriers we see to progress is low levels of public understanding about the Waste Minimisation Act, the scope of possibility it offers for improving how we manage and minimise waste, the number of initiatives internationally that we could be learning from, and the disproportionate level of influence of lobbyists/vested interests in impeding effective change in waste policy.
Right now, waste policy in NZ and internationally is a moving beast – we are hopeful changes are afoot and that some of the messages in this article will soon become out of date (by the govt starting to implement the WMA!!). So read this article with these things in mind, but remember how important it is not to become complacent. If we want to see change (including productive change headed in the right direction), we’ve got to keep advocating and know what it is that we’re advocating for!