Hamilton City Council’s new rubbish and recycling service has been recognised for environmental excellence in the 2021 Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Awards.
Hamilton took home the Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Well-being for its positive and near-instant impact on the environment.
The new service, introduced in August 2020, involved upgrading the residential kerbside rubbish and recycling service from black bags to a set of four bins, providing more recycling options for residents.
It meant more than 56,000 Hamilton households changed the way they deal with their rubbish and recycling.
Since the new service started the amount of waste saved from landfill has increased from 27% to 58%. More than 4.5 million kilograms of food scraps have also been turned into compost thanks to the new food scrap bin. A portion of this, dubbed Tronpost, is reused in the city’s gardens and parks.
The new service is a key action from Council’s waste management and minimisation plan that aims to help divert 150 million kilograms of waste away from landfill in 10 years.
Mayor Paula Southgate said the award was not just for the Council, but for the city.
“Everyone has had to get onboard and make this change and the vast majority of people have. I’m really proud of that because the project has had a huge and positive impact. Hamilton has been an absolute leader in this space and it’s wonderful to see that recognised and celebrated,” she said.
“I want to particularly thank staff and contractors who have been involved in rolling out the programme and to those who continue to work on it every day. Go you! We’re thankful to have you on our team.”
The annual LGNZ awards, held in Blenheim this evening, were a chance for all 78 local authorities to celebrate successful projects that help improve the wellbeing of their local communities.
The other finalists in the environmental wellbeing category were Auckland Council/Waiheke Resources Trust for its Love our Wetlands Waiheke programme and Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) for its Whakaora Te Ahuriri project.