23 June 2016

Groups diverting rubbish from the landfill are being encouraged to apply for their share of an annual fund administered by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. With $50,000 available, the Waste Resources Advisory Group (WRAG) is looking forward to learning about some of the innovative ideas being actioned across the Bay.   

One of last year’s recipients, Tauranga City Council, received funding for their Organic Waste Diversion Project which sees coffee grounds and food scraps diverted from the landfill. While only in its infancy, they already have 43 businesses on board and are diverting on average 2.3 tonnes from the landfill per month.

This project received $13,500 from the WRAG, a collaboration by district and city councils, community groups, Toi Te Ora Public Health and a variety of industry and businesses with an interest in managing waste.

Co-owner of Flying Burrito Brothers, Barrio Brothers and Rye Kitchen, Warren Lippi-Smith, whose three business participate in the project says it’s been a great initiative to be part of and easy change for them to make.

 “Collectively, through the bins we have been provided, we have diverted around 9.5 tonnes of waste since November 2015 and we could easily do more. Anything we can do to address the issue of food waste, in our industry especially, is a really good thing” he says.

Regional Council Senior Project Implementation Officer Reece Irving says the fund is intended to support several projects annually that offer new, innovative or collaborative ways to manage or reduce waste and benefit communities in the Bay of Plenty.

“We know there are a heap of good ideas out there already being actioned and we are keen to get behind these initiatives and give them a boost”, he says.

Applications are now open for 2016 WRAG fund and close at 5pm, Friday 1st July.