Marlborough litter study key to countrywide clean-up

Marlborough District Council solid waste manager Alex McNeil will oversee a study into what people do with their litter.
RICKY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Marlborough District Council solid waste manager Alex McNeil will oversee a study into what people do with their litter.

An investigation into how Marlborough deals with litter problems could help set the blueprint for the rest of New Zealand.

A $75,000 boost in funds from the government will help the Marlborough District Council conduct an in-depth probe into the performance of current litter services.

Associate Minister for the Environment Scott Simpson announced the funding boost at council on Thursday.

Marlborough could help pave the way forward for other councils across the country, Simpson said.

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Marlborough had a problem with litter being dumped in public areas and near waterways, Simpson said.

"It'll be very interesting to see the outcome here in Marlborough and the council's response will provide opportunities and information for other councils across the whole country.

"I come from the Coromandel and there are a number of symmetries between there and Marlborough. We live in beautiful parts of the country and want to be able to take pride in this."

Council's waste management team was undertaking their biggest survey into how the region deals with its rubbish.

The results would be used to highlight problem areas and forge a plan of attack for the future in a bid to keep Marlborough clean.

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Council bosses had successfully applied to The Waste Minimisation Fund for financial help with the study which could have widespread implications for the whole country.

Solid Waste manager Alec McNeil said an improvement was only possible with the help of the community.

The two-year Marlborough Litter Project would give council an accurate overview and effectiveness of existing services.

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"It's about how easy and accessible the service is and any unintended consequences and how we deal with them.

"We want to understand what drives people's behaviour and how we all contribute to the problem unwittingly and what impact that has on the community," he said.

As part of the study, contract service adviser Christine McNeil is investigating areas of concern across the region, working alongside council staff.

While it was too early to release any study findings, people had been keen to get on board and help, she said.

 - The Marlborough Express

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