It’s food for thought

Waipā councillor Mike Pettit, mayor Susan O’Regan, waste minimisation advisor Sally Fraser and deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk look at the some of the food waste collected from Te Awamutu homes on Monday. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.

Waipā councillors were given a vivid illustration today of the rubbish residents put out for collection which is organic waste.

They were served up for morning tea an example of largely food items rubbish contractors picked up in Te Awamutu on Monday.

The idea to serve it up on the table for councillors to see came from waste minimisation advisor Sally Fraser.

It is part of an education programme while council considers ways to minimise waste over the next six years.

A total of 154kgs of food waste collected from 100 houses included:

  • 224 bread slices, buns and rolls
  • 21.9 kgs of meat
  • 146 serves of meat
  • An unopened gift box of three BBQ sauces
  • 79 crackers
  • 3 unopened chocolate bars
  • 3 hollow easter eggs and one headless easter bunny
  • 2 ½ frozen cheesecakes
  • 480 grams of raw prawns

That amounts to 48,000 wasted slices of bread for all 21,700 homes in Waipā, said Fraser.

O’Regan said she was appalled at what was collected. Half of it should never end up in landfill.

“It’s challenging because as our population grows, our waste is increasing. There are huge costs involved in dealing with that waste which ratepayers right across the district pick up,” she said.

Council is about to embark on consultation starting next week in Cambridge and Te Awamutu farmers’ and produce markets.

Residents have till April 23 to have their say.

  • An earlier version of this article said the mayor Susan O’Regan and deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk came up with the idea in addition to Sally Fraser.

Cambridge Community Board chair Jo Davies-Colley with waste minimisation officer Sally Fraser showing some of the food thrown out into the rubbish. Photo: Mary Anne Gill

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