1                      5 May 2022

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Komiti Kaupapa Taiao

Climate Change and Sustainability Committee

 

Minutes of a meeting held via Zoom on Thursday 5 May 2022 commencing at 2.00pm

 

 

PRESENT:

Cr J Briggs (Chair)

Mayor C Barry

 

Cr K Brown

Cr S Edwards

 

Cr A Mitchell

 

 

APOLOGIES:                   Cr Rasheed, Cr Shaw, Deputy Mayor Lewis

 

IN ATTENDANCE:         Ms A Blackshaw, Director Neighbourhoods and Communities (part meeting)

Ms H Oram, Director Environment and Sustainability

Mr J Scherzer, Head of Climate and Solid Waste
Mr D Uppal, Solid Waste Manager
Mr A Saker, Senior Advisor Waste Minimisation

Mr B Hu, Traffic Engineering Manager

Ms K Stannard, Head of Democracy Services

Ms J Randall, Democracy Advisor

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

1.

Opening formalities - Karakia Timatanga

Whakataka te hau ki te uru                    Cease the winds from the west
Whakataka te hau ki te tonga                Cease the winds from the south
Kia mākinakina ki uta                             Let the breeze blow over the land
Kia mātaratara ki tai                               Let the breeze blow over the ocean
E hī ake ana te atakura                          Let the red-tipped dawn come with a sharpened air
He tio, he huka, he hau hū                    A touch of frost, a promise of a glorious day
Tīhei mauri ora.

2.       APOLOGIES

Resolved: (Cr Briggs/Cr Mitchell)                                                                                                   Minute No. CCASC 22201

“That the apologies received from Cr Rasheed, Cr Shaw and Deputy Mayor Lewis be accepted and leave of absence be granted.”

3.       PUBLIC COMMENT

There was no public comment.

4.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS   

There were no conflict of interest declarations.  

5.

Update on Council's solid waste and waste minimisation work (22/837)

Report No. CCASC2022/2/77 by the Solid Waste Manager

 

The Solid Waste Manager elaborated on the report. He advised a communications and engagement campaign (engagement campaign) to reduce contamination in Council’s kerbside recycling service would commence in late August 2022 or early September 2022. He added an agency had been selected and scoping and research work would commence over the next three months to understand residents’ recycling habits.

In response to questions from members, the Solid Waste Manager said the engagement campaign would target contamination across the city. He added the work of recycling ambassadors would be more targeted. He said recycling ambassadors would commence work from mid-May 2022 for a three month period. He highlighted the ambassadors would report back on data contamination, problem suburbs and streets and identify the type of materials causing contamination. He confirmed Lower Hutt recycling had not reached the contamination threshold of 20% that would exclude it from being recycled.  He acknowledged it was getting close to the threshold.  He envisaged the work of the recycling ambassadors would help modify behaviour but said if behaviour did not improve some bins might not be collected. He added recycling inspectors would allow for up to 10% contamination. He considered most contamination was a result of confusion rather than deliberate dumping since rules around recycling differed between local authorities. He confirmed kerbside recycling levels had not increased considerably since the introduction of the new bins.

In response to a question from a member, the Director of Environment and Sustainability explained the delay in relaying information to members on the timeline for the engagement campaign was caused by the need to source an external agency. She confirmed additional detail would be available for the Committee’s meeting on
14 July 2022.

In response to questions from members, the Head of Climate and Solid Waste explained de-carbonisation had a 10% weighting in the procurement process but tenders were measured on a range of criteria. He added successful contractors would be required to implement measures to de-carbonise to assist Council’s goal of achieving a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030.

 

Resolved: (Cr Briggs/Mayor Barry)                                     Minute No. CCASC 22202

“That the Committee notes the update on various solid waste management and minimisation matters.”

 

6.

Update on Council's climate change work (22/838)

Report No. CCASC2022/2/78 by the Head of Climate and Solid Waste

 

The Head of Climate and Solid Waste elaborated on the report. He advised that the installation of three charging stations at Koraunui was almost complete.

Mayor Barry asked officers for a further update on charging stations for the next meeting of the Committee.  He also asked that the update included the status of each charging station and a map showing locations.

In response to a question from a member, the Traffic Engineering Manager advised there would be no continuation of the LED street lighting programme this financial year. He added a programme was being developed alongside Waka Kotahi to continue LED installations in the next financial year.

Cr Mitchell suggested that Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) be required to report annually on its carbon emissions in the same way that Council’s contractors were required to report on its emissions to Council.

Mayor Barry and the Chair agreed emissions reporting from CCOs would be beneficial and would provide a more complete picture of Council’s overall emissions, including whether reductions were on track.

 

Resolved: (Cr Briggs/Cr Edwards)                                      Minute No. CCASC 22203

“That the Committee notes the update on various climate change work streams.”

 

7.

Submission to Ministry for the Environment (22/941)

Report No. CCASC2022/2/79 by the Senior Advisor Waste Minimisation

 

The Senior Advisor Waste Minimisation elaborated on the report. He advised additional information regarding a ‘Recycling Mate’ app had been added to the submission since the Committee’s agenda had been distributed. He highlighted an app would provide up-front information on recycling for consumers, particularly with the proposed introduction of a Container Return Scheme (CRS). 

In response to questions from a member, the Senior Advisor Waste Minimisation explained the Manatū Mō Te Taiao | Ministry for the Environment discussion document had not presented an analysis on the financial implications of fewer beverage containers in kerbside recycling due to the CRS scheme.  He highlighted WasteMinz had submitted that milk containers should not be excluded from the CRS scheme and noted that Council’s submission had not included this level of detail.

In response to a question from a member, the Head of Climate and Solid Waste advised a preferred consultant for a food waste collection service would be confirmed shortly. He said more information would be reported to the relevant Committee early in 2023 to enable informed decisions to be made before Council’s next Long Term Plan. He added a food waste collection service could commence by July 2024 subject to the time needed for a business plan, community consultation and procurement.

Cr Mitchell suggested the following amendments to the submission:

·     including Liquid Paper Board in the Container Return Scheme could cause confusion since it was not accepted in kerbside recycling. It should be accepted by both schemes or by neither.

·     separating business food waste would have a financial impact on local authorities and financial support should be provided particularly for smaller local authorities. Ask for co-investment and investment in local research to investigate the best solution for local authorities and their residents.

·     acknowledge there might be other more local app providers such as Wastewise or a national solution.

Cr Mitchell expressed support for the government proposals and the submission including the amendments. He noted that standardising recycling across the country would make messaging easier and more effective.

The Chair asked officers to include the feedback from Cr Mitchell in the final version of the submission.

 

Resolved: (Cr Briggs/Cr Mitchell)                                        Minute No. CCASC 22204

That the Committee:

(1)   agrees to the updated submission on the Manatū Mō Te Taiao |Ministry for the Environment’s consultation document: ‘Te panoni i te hangarua |Transforming recycling,’ attached as pages 6-8 of the minutes;

(2)   agrees that, due to the submission deadline of 8 May 2022, the submission be sent by the Mayor or the Chair of the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee; and

(3)   agrees to include the feedback provided at the meeting in the submission.”

For the reasons outlined in this report.

8.       Information Item

Climate Change and Sustainability Committee Forward Programme 2022 (22/943)

Report No. CCASC2022/2/80 by the Democracy Advisor

Resolved: (Cr Briggs/Cr Brown)                                 Minute No. CCASC 22205

“That the Committee receives and notes the Forward Programme for 2022 attached as Appendix 1 to the report.”

 

9.       QUESTIONS

There were no questions.

10.

Closing formalities - Karakia Whakamutunga

Unuhia!

Unuhia!

Unuhia i te uru-tapu-nui

Kia wātea, kia māmā

Te ngākau, te tinana, te wairua i te ara takatū

Koia rā e Rongo whakairihia ake ki runga

Kia wātea, kia wātea!

Ae rā, kua wātea!

Hau, pai mārire.

Release us from the supreme sacredness of our tasks

To be clear and free
in heart, body and soul in our continuing journey

Oh Rongo, raise these words up high

so that we be cleansed and be free,

Yes indeed, we are free!

Good and peaceful

 

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 2.43 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J Briggs

CHAIR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 24th day of May 2022

 


 

Transforming recycling consultation
Ministry for the Environment
PO Box 10362
Wellington 6143

Attention: Submissions Analysis Team

Submission on Ministry for the Environment’s Te panoni i te hangarua Transforming recycling consultation document

I am writing to you on behalf of Hutt City Council’s Climate Change and Sustainability Committee.

On 13 March 2022 the Ministry for the Environment released its Te panoni i te hangarua Transforming recycling consultation document, which sets out three proposals to transform recycling in Aotearoa New Zealand. These proposals are:

-          Container Return Scheme (CRS)

-          Improvements to household kerbside recycling

-          Separation of business food waste

Our committee supports the general intent of these proposals but suggests that some areas may need further consideration. We also encourage the government to ensure that councils have sufficient input into all stages of the planning and implementation phases of any final policies that arise from this consultation.  

This submission outlines our committee’s support and feedback on these proposals.

Container Return Scheme (CRS)

We agree with the proposed definitions of a beverage and an eligible beverage container but suggest that any eligibility criteria for beverage containers is mindful of the term ‘single use’ as this may provide an opportunity for beverage producers that use ‘sipper bottles’ (for example Pump water bottles) to opt out of any CRS.

We agree that a proposed refund amount of 20 cents is likely to achieve the stated CRS policy objectives. However, in the absence of any data or research, there is a risk that this amount will not have the desired effect of changing people’s littering habits. On that note, it would be prudent to include a formal commitment in the CRS charter to review the refund amount every two or three years to ensure the refund amount remains congruent with the said policy objectives – especially in the face of changing economic pressures. Furthermore, we think that local government needs to be integral to such a review process so that insights into the CRS’s efficacy can be adequately considered. A possible avenue for this could be the Waste MINZ Territorial Authority Forum.

We support the proposed broad scope of beverage container material types to be included, especially the inclusion of Liquid Paper Board, and agree that alternative beverage container types should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

We are comfortable with a not-for-profit industry led scheme. However, we believe that any authority must (a) be required to undergo independent auditing and (b) have government oversight - with input from local government. As pointed out in the discussion document, local government is responsible for the disposal of end-of-life containers, therefore it would be reasonable for such organisations to have input into the governance of any CRS.

Improvements to household kerbside recycling

We support the implementation of standardised kerbside recycling across New Zealand on the basis that a standardised approach will help to reduce confusion for all New Zealanders - and thereby lead to improved national recycling rates.

In July 2021, the Hutt City Council rolled out a rates-funded rubbish and recycling kerbside collection for residents of Lower Hutt. This includes a weekly rubbish collection, fortnightly recycling collection (for glass, cans, plastics #1, #2, #5, paper/cardboard) and an optional garden waste collection every four weeks. Glass is collected separately at the kerbside on alternating weeks with recycling. Therefore, Lower Hutt is already in alignment with the proposed standardisation.

Aside from standardising materials and separate collection of glass, we suggest that thought be given to multi-unit dwellings in terms of how materials are collected. Such housing types are quickly becoming a significant component of the urban environment in Lower Hutt and around New Zealand. Any future regulations in this area will need to be sufficiently flexible to allow local government to successfully manage collections from these types of development. 

We note that any kerbside recycling scheme is dependent on the viability of end markets for recycled product both in New Zealand and overseas. However, the discussion document did not articulate what options were available should our current end markets become compromised or non-existent. We believe that robust contingency plans need to be developed by government to manage fluctuations and possible cessations of end markets for recycled product. There is a risk that a national recycling scheme could be adversely impacted, and its credibility could be undermined if local government were forced to landfill diverted material due to oversupply issues.

We do not believe that a government minister should decide on what new materials are to be included in a kerbside recycling scheme. This power could make the process unnecessarily political. As mentioned above, local government is currently responsible for the disposal of end-of-life products, so once again it would be reasonable to include local government in any decision-making on the inclusion of any new materials. With this in mind we suggest the government seriously considers how it will approach the capability of infrastructure for materials that are proposed to be excluded from kerbside collections, and simultaneously investigate ways to reduce these material streams through product stewardship schemes.

We believe that if New Zealand was to receive a CRS and a standardised kerbside recycling service, that serious thought be given to funding the introduction of an ‘app’ or similar tool to help consumers quickly and easily identify where their nearest CRS depot is and what items/materials can be recycled and/or what recycling bin should be used (at their homes or in public places). Hutt City Council officers have established contact with the Australian Federal Government funded Recycling Mate app. This app has taken over three years to develop, contains a library of over 5,000 commonly available products and is underpinned by advanced AI functionality. Recycling Mate have indicated they are keen to introduce the app to Lower Hutt and by extension, New Zealand, and Council officers are currently working with them to establish what costs would be involved. We encourage MfE/government to contact Council officers for more information about this app if there is interest in pursuing Recycle Mate for all of New Zealand.

 

Separation of business food waste

We support the general intent of businesses separating food waste. However, we cannot make further submissions at this time as both the Hutt and Porirua City Councils are at the nascent stages of assessing the viability of their approach to managing residential and commercial food waste. We are happy for the Ministry for the Environment to contact Hutt City Council officers for more information regarding our approach in the future.

Our Committee supports the direction that the government is heading with these proposals. We look forward to working in partnership with central government and its agencies with any future actions.