Like me, I bet you’re wondering why, when we have the fantastic facility provided by Trans Pacific Industries in Ostend, anyone in their right mind would want a return to the bad old days. Not too long ago, with the community owned Cleanstream in charge, the place was a smelly dust bowl in summer and a mud bath in winter. Residents were expected to wade ankle deep in mud for the privilege of separating our own rubbish into different bins. Cleanstream provided substandard facilities for the public and staff alike and failed to implement any of their promised ground-breaking initiatives. They fell foul of OSH regulations and due to interference in the contract process, were eventually disqualified from the new waste contract. Thank God.
Big users of plastic bags, the system required residents to have constant bag supplies to individually separate out our rubbish and recyclables, either for the curb collection or taken to the so-called ‘recycling’ centre.
Remnants of this system still litter and disgrace our island every week with red plastic bags and little piles of other plastic bags decorating the roadsides, with the bag contents regularly scattered around the neighbourhood by dogs. Where are the plastic bag police when you need them?
How much better it is now, since Trans Pacific Industries took over the job.
- All household recyclables are diverted into the on-site New Hope op-shop, developed and run by the Combined Churches, which puts hundreds of thousands of dollars back into the community, not only through recycled goods but also via community grants.
- Building materials are recycled at the Ostend Transfer Station
- Green waste is mulched locally and resold back to the community
- There is an on-going education programme.
- World-wide, new technology is focussed on the co-mingling problem.
- I’m sure most of you, like me, compost your own food waste.
What’s left that the Board needs to spend $30,000 on finding out that can just as easily be found by spending a few hours on the internet? We have a Waste Educator, paid for by Trans Pacific Industries, to help educate the young and endless amounts of local knowledge provided by enterprising individuals and community groups.
Hard left, Green Party list MP, Denise Roche (whose partner John Stansfield once led the failed Cleanstream) says in her Green Party profile that she ‘ wants to see real reform of the waste sector - by putting power and responsibility back in the hands of the community.’ Roche, who was once employed by Cleanstream’s fellow organisation the Waiheke Waste Resource Trust, should know better than most, the limitations of a so-called community-run waste facility. But she simply can’t let go of the past and move forward.
New technology is continually being developed to solve the world’s waste disposal issues. Spending $30k of our ratepayers’ dollars is simply money down the drain …. and that’s just for the scoping study. Then there’ll be the actual study, usually costing around $100k and on it goes. As usual, too much hui and not enough doey.
It’s back to the future all over again for our bunch of wastrel politicians.