Fairer recycle costs needed
Building the cost of recycling into the price of products is the fairest, most effective way to cut waste, and Palmerston North City Council will urge the Government to make it happen.
The city and its ratepayers cannot achieve waste reduction goals acting alone, Cr Chris Teo-Sherrell said.
The planning and policy committee yesterday recommended urging the Government, both directly and through Local Government New Zealand, to make more product stewardship schemes compulsory.
The issue arose as the committee was confronted with a list of hard-to-recycle items, such as e-waste, batteries, polystyrene and agricultural plastics, that people would have to pay to have taken away.
It wants to recycle more to cut the waste going to the Bonny Glen landfill by three-quarters by 2015. Cr Teo-Sherrell said it would be worth subsidising the removal of some recyclables from the waste stream because of the environmental impact.
The government could implement product stewardship in which the producer, importer, suppliers and consumer bore responsibility for handling products at the end of their use, he said. "But that responsibility is being handed down to the council and to ratepayers." An example of product stewardship in New Zealand is with paint, where two major manufacturers apply an up-front levy on large volumes and provide a free return service for surplus paint.
Cr Teo-Sherrell's call was backed by the committee. Cr Bruce Wilson said he supported the move. "It can't be done independently, or as a city. It can only be solved on a regional or national basis."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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