Early morning Trade Breakfast, complete with pastry.

 Hastings District Council has completed a series of ‘Tradie Breakfasts’ for the construction and demolition industries, held over the last few weeks.

Waste from these sectors contributes half of all waste going to landfill, according to Lizzie Atkins of Atkins Construction, who presented the second trade breakfast to discuss on-site waste sorting.

With a construction boom going on regionally and nationally, it’s a good time to start thinking about implementing circular principles across the sector.

The events are part of the council’s Waste Minimisation and Management Plan, a joint plan with Napier City Council, which includes getting industry onboard to assist. Expert speakers came along to present and share information, tips and solutions.

HDC has been working with specialists the 3R Group on an awareness campaign targeted at reducing waste in this sector, that includes the breakfasts as a stop-gap while it recruits an advisor for the plan. This had proven difficult and the role will be advertised again in the coming weeks, a council spokeswoman said.

Waste minimisation in the construction and demolition sector will be an area of increasing focus over future years, helped in part by the proposed dedicated resource. In the interim, the Tradie Breakfasts had been a great opportunity to pull interested parties together to begin collaborating, she said.

The breakfasts give an overview on the council’s waste reduction goals and encourages collaboration to make change.

One of the targets of the Plan was to reduce organic waste to landfill by 30% in partnership with industry, by improving community awareness on waste and recovery trends, and looking at options for recovering reusing and recycling commercial waste.

Atkins said her advice to businesses was to start by cherry picking the most common, worst offending items one at a time, then come up with a plan of how to gather and distribute accordingly.

“We believe the only way forward in this area is to work collectively in the industry, share ideas and learn about new initiatives,” she said. 

The final event was held on Tuesday, September 20 and looked at procurement and design and its impact on reducing waste. Speakers included representatives from Mitre 10, QPOD Flooring System and DCA Architects of Transformation.

3R innovation project lead Steve Nicholls said the response had been positive.

“The ultimate desire would be some sort of regional group set up to make some regional cooperative decisions around what can be done. Whether that be consolidating trade, consolidating collection and sorting, setting up storage locations for second hand goods for non-profits – those were the sort of ideas that were bandied around.”

Product stewardship often involves a lot of people collaborating to make a difference, he said.

“A lot of them want to and don’t know where to start. Some of the ideas will be things that can be implemented immediately – such as sorting on site at Atkins and Mitre 10 might be looking at a recovery scheme for gib in the bay.”

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.


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