Reducing waste is the most important part of waste minimisation. Waste reduction avoids the unnecessary use of resources such as materials, energy and water and means there is less waste to manage. The aim of waste reduction is to eliminate waste before it is produced and to reduce both the quantity and toxicity of waste.
Look at these alternatives for some common shopping items:
The next most cost effective means of minimising waste is to reuse waste material in its same form. Reusing an item means it doesn't go in the rubbish and end up in the landfill. It also means that you don't have to buy a new product and so you are saving the energy and resources that would have been used to make the new product.
Recycling involves some form of reprocessing of waste materials to produce another product. For example, recycling plastic bottles to make buckets.
In Canterbury the main products that can be recycled are paper and cardboard, glass, aluminium, tin and plastic containers.
Composting and worm farms are methods of recycling organic waste at home or at work if you have the space.
As well as recycling your waste products, buy products that are made from recycled materials. This is called “Closing the Loop”. To find out more about what recycled products are available in New Zealand have a look at the Buy it Back Guide.
The Christchurch City Council has produced a recycling directory which contains a list of Christchurch businesses and organisations providing recycling services and/or advice on resource efficiency and environmental issues.
Different districts collect different recyclables at the kerbside and at their transfer stations/resource recovery parks. Contact your local city or district council to find out what they collect. See our Waste Facilities section for more information.
This is the recovery of materials or energy content of a waste without any pre-processing. For example, waste oils that cannot be refined for reuse in vehicles are used for energy recovery.
Source reduction, reusing and recycling wastes are the first steps that should be taken for managing solid waste. But even with our best efforts we may still need means of getting rid of some waste.
Recovery is a means of recovering energy or materials, without any pre-processing, from wastes that cannot be used for something else.
For example, waste oils that cannot be refined for reuse are used in furnaces. Recovering the energy from waste oil reduces our dependence on coal and imported oil.
Residual management is the final treatment and/or disposal of a waste that cannot be used in any other way. Within Canterbury residual management of solid waste is normally disposal within a landfill. Residual disposal of liquid waste is normally into a sewer or septic tank.
It is important to manage residual solid and liquid waste properly. Waste not disposed of correctly can cause adverse health and environmental effects.
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