Local Government Magazine
Technical Briefings

The UK and Australian approach to organic waste collections

This paper, The UK and Australian approach to organic waste collections, was presented at the WasteMINZ annual conference in Hamilton. By Chris Purchas & Anna Ainsworth from Tonkin + Taylor.

Councils in New Zealand are in the early stages of developing separate food waste collections. There is a history of green and food and green waste collections in some locations. Commercial green waste collections are well established in many urban centres.
Processing infrastructure includes open windrow, aerated and vermicomposting facilities, with some indoor composting systems managing both green and food waste. Anaerobic digestion (AD) is well established for wastewater treatment solids, but has not been applied to other organic wastes in New Zealand.
As councils around the country consider their options, it is opportune to reflect on successes and failures in other countries – particularly the key aspects, which have driven service provision elsewhere – when planning for future services and infrastructure in New Zealand.
The United Kingdom (UK) and Australia both have well-developed systems, particularly in urban areas. There are a range of drivers in each country and typical systems have emerged in response.
Our full paper (see link in box below) discusses the key aspects and lessons learnt from the UK and Australia in terms of implementing organic waste collections and discusses where New Zealand can learn from these.
Furthermore the paper will:

  • Identify what underpins organic waste collection services, including legislation and policy requirements;
  • Outline achievements to date in Australia and the UK in terms of collection systems of organic waste; and
  • Identify key aspects driving trends in organic waste collections in the UK and Australia, which require consideration before applying these approaches in New Zealand.

This article was first published in the February 2018 issue of NZ Local Government Magazine.

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