Zero Waste Devonport (ZWD)
c/o Level 1, Second Tower
Upstairs at the Ferry Terminal
Devonport Wharf, Marine Square
Contact: Toni van Tonder
Devonport has a proud history of environmental and social activism and many of us feel strongly that we should be creating the road map that ensures Devonport is a Zero Waste community.
One of the most daunting issues facing the world is what we do with our waste. It is a mounting problem here in Aotearoa New Zealand, where the treatment and disposal of waste pollutes the environment, creates cost to our society, impairs public health and threatens some communities with toxicity.
In reality waste represents a loss of resources, both in the form of materials and energy. A newer way of thinking is the circular economy, a designed alternative to a traditional linear economy in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.
We live in a ‘take make waste’ (linear) society where we make, use and throw away and everything we consume ultimately becomes waste in some form. We think of waste as just something we can discard, yet most of it is simply moved out of sight – into a landfill or poured down the drain. Waste becomes someone else’s problem.
Zero Waste then is the ultimate goal and a philosophy and design principle that includes recycling but goes beyond recycling by taking a whole system approach to the vast flow of resources and waste through human society. It is an approach that seeks to maximize recycling, minimize waste, reduce consumption and ensure that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace. A pile of waste actually represents potential valuable resources, community and economic opportunity including jobs and new products from raw materials.
Zero Waste Devonport (ZWD) is a community driven initiative to support and implement this philosophy by working with key stakeholders to develop and enhance Devonport’s status as a leader in the Zero Waste opportunity.
Devonport was a leader four decades ago with the first comprehensive recycling programme in the country which gave householders a kerbside collection of specified recyclables; depot collections of bulky items; promotion of home composting and the provision of large scale composting for heavy section garden waste.
ZWD has been convened by local experts and enthusiasts aiming to rekindle the Devonport spirit and build new initiatives that range from improving public sector recycling to replacing one-trip plastic packaging. Our first step is to engage with our community and set priorities from the smorgasbord of possible options in the hope that our work can become not only a local movement but be taken up by other communities too.