Zero Waste initiative funding boost

Web image Waste Minimisation Community Funding Facebook Jan19
May 28, 2019

Grants totaling almost $50,000 have been allocated through the first Waste Minimisation Community Funding round.

Queenstown Lakes District Council General Manager Property and Infrastructure Peter Hansby said the Waste Minimisation Community Fund was an initiative of Council’s Waste Minimisation and Management Plan (WMMP).

“When we asked the community for input on the WMMP last yearwe received a clear message that Council should be doing more to support community-driven initiatives.  This fund is our response to that and we’re looking forward to seeing the positive effect these projects will have in our drive ‘Towards zero waste and a sustainable district’”, Mr Hansby said.

The grants approved through this funding round include:

  • Sustainable Queenstown, Dishrupt:  Contribution towards a service and education trailer providing reusable dishes and cups at local public events.
  • Plastic Free Wanaka, Waste Free Wanda:  Develop a collection of catchy, interactive songs on waste reduction and shared through community performance. 
  • ONE New Zealand/Plastic Free Wanaka:  Implement a cup reuse scheme in Wanaka cafes supported by a behaviour change, education and community engagement campaign. 
  • Waste Free with Kate:  Presentations at secondary schools to introduce waste free period options. Online resources for health teachers to share with students.
  • Local Food Wanaka, Autumn Apple Drive: Community events teaching a hands-on approach to utilise fruit surplus

Sustainable Queenstown co-founder Esther Whitehead said the group was thrilled to be a recipient of the Waste Minimisation Fund. 

“We've carefully aligned our work with the QLDC Waste Minimisation objectives and our community's vision for the district.  Dishrupt TM is about making disposability a thing of the past and showcasing this at events through the provision of reusable dishes and cups.  Dishrupt TM has strong community participation and, importantly, we have buy-in from business so that we can offer the service collaboratively. Whilst we are working at grassroots level, with this support we will be able to help more events reduce their waste,” Ms Whitehead said. 

Anna van Riel of Plastic Free Wanaka was “stoked” to hear the news.

“We will create a super hero called Waste Free Wanda, who will bring humour, music and learning to our community.  Waste Free Wanda will create catchy songs on reducing waste and offer solutions on how to reduce single use plastic.  Waste Free Wanda is a strong reflection of how Plastic Free Wanaka loves to connect with our community through education, music, creativity and lots of belly laughing,” Ms van Riel said. 

Kate Meads from Waste Free with Kate said it was “exciting” to get support to expand her ‘waste free periods’ initiative into local secondary schools.

“We’ll use the funding to expand our programme into secondary schools with a focus on waste free menstruation products.   With period poverty and waste minimisation both hot topics globally it is an exciting time to bring this project to life in Queenstown Lakes District,” Ms Meads said. 

ONE New Zealand and Plastic Free Wanaka were delighted to receive funding and are excited to work together to implement a coffee cup lending scheme into local cafes. Each year 295 million single-use cups are sent to landfill in Aotearoa, all producing methane as they degrade. A large proportion of these cups are coffee cups.

Sophie Ward from Plastic Free Wanaka said the group is working with the hospitality sector to help move away from the make-use-dispose culture of coffee cups. 

“Thanks QLDC for helping us make a change that we know our whole community will get behind,” Ms Ward said.  

This sentiment was shared by Brona Parsons, owner of Wanaka’s Federal Diner who said, "As a restaurant owner I am super excited to offer this cup lending scheme to my regular customers and visitors and to see the reduction of waste to landfill. It’s a no-brainer to our small businesses, our town and to the community as a whole," she said. 

Mr Hansby thanked everyone who took the time to make an application for funding.

“We’re grateful to everyone who took the time to apply.  The mix of projects and ideas submitted has given us a much broader understanding of what’s possible for waste minimisation initiatives in the community,” he said. “We plan to build on this momentum and will hold another funding round next year”.


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