Discount offered on nappies to cut waste

AL WILLIAM
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2014

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Cloth nappies worth $100 are to be offered to Mackenzie District mums for $20.

Subsidised cloth nappies have been tabled as an option to curb an increasing waste stream in the district, with an estimated $4000 saving per child for parents who use them.

The Mackenzie District Council launched the incentive yesterday after concerns were raised about the amount of rubbish going to landfill.

Solid waste manager Angie Taylor said disposable nappies had been identified as a component of the waste stream that could be reduced through the use of cloth nappies.

"To encourage families within the district to use cloth nappies, it is proposed to offer subsidised nappy packs.

"The anticipated outcome is to reduce waste to landfill and promote waste awareness, with benefits to families within the Mackenzie, the council and the environment."

The overall estimated cost of the trial project would be $3100. It would be offset by up to $2100 as parents paid for each nappy pack, with a proposal to fund the remainder from a waste levy the council receives from the Environment Ministry.

Asset manager Bernie Haar said an increasing volume of waste was being sent to landfill, while the volume of waste diverted from landfill had decreased.

Mr Haar said the financial cost of recycling had also gone up.

The project would see packs worth $100 offered to parents for $20.

"If we provide a pack with three cloth nappies and these are used 300 times each, then one nappy pack can lead to 180kg of waste not being sent to landfill," Ms Taylor said in her report.

Ms Taylor said nine tonnes of waste could be removed from the waste stream if 50 packs were given out.

There was also a cost saving to parents estimated at $4000 per child by using cloth nappies, she said.

Mackenzie Mayor Claire Barlow said she thought it was a good initiative for the district.

"I think it is a really good initiative, a great idea for mums."

An estimate of transport and disposal costs from residual waste was $196, excluding GST, per tonne, which equated to $1764, excluding GST, in waste disposal cost savings based on a child staying in nappies for two years.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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