Government expands waste minimisation plan with $3.1m grant

The government says it will spend $3.1 million on diverting construction waste from landfills in Auckland every year.

The Waste Minimisation Fund will enable Auckland recycling firm Green Gorilla to divert the waste and allow materials to be reused.

The firm will use the fund to construct a large scale waste sorting facility at its Onehunga site to double its recycling capacity.

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said in a statement that commercial waste made up about 85 per cent of what was sent to Auckland landfills every year.

“It’s all part of our broader plan to be smarter on waste. We need to find new ways to get value out of resources rather than just dump them,” Ms Sage said.

Green Gorilla’s project gave businesses an alternative to simply dumping materials, she said.

Yesterday, Ms Sage announced a work programme to tackle waste by looking at options to better manage waste going into landfills, how to improve gathering of data on waste and options to expand product stewardship schemes.

The Greens were asking the public whether the current levy of $10 per tonne on waste taken to landfills should be higher.

Earlier this month, the government also pledged to rid the country of single-use plastic bags by July next year.