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Our Environment: Issue 13 Summer 1997

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Scheme Zeros In On Waste

Christchurch City Council is one of the key players involved in launching a waste minimisation programme called Target Zero.

The Council, ECNZ, Southpower, Hawkes Bay Power and the Hawkes Bay Councils have joined forces to develop the programme in Christchurch and Hawkes Bay.

A $325,000 grant from the Ministry for the Environment, plus support from programme partners, will allow 12 Christchurch businesses and 12 Hawkes Bay businesses to examine their processes and reduce waste.

Taking part in Christchurch are: Feltex Carpets Ltd, Alliance Group (Sockburn Plant), the Millennium, Parkroyal, Tait Electronics, Meadowfresh Foods, Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-operative Ltd, Leiner Davis Gelatin, Canterbury Health, Skellerup Industries, Huttons Kiwi and Christchurch Polytechnic.

Waste minimisation differs from conventional business practices that concentrate on waste disposal. It focuses more on the causes of waste and where industry processes can be improved to reduce waste at source.

More than 100 local business group representatives attended the Target Zero launch in Christchurch on 20 August. The Hon. Deborah Morris, Associate Minister for the Environment, emphasised the need to measure current levels of waste and seek cleaner ways of doing business.

Another key speaker was Professor Don Huisingh from Sweden who is active in both the training and implementation of cleaner production practices internationally. He advocates a cycle of continuous improvement revolving around policy, planning, assessment, evaluation and implementation.

Target Zero's emphasis is on sustaining cleaner production initiatives, through the development of a regional network. Some waste minimisation programmes are only effective for a short period. Target Zero intends to make cleaner production part of the workplace culture and ensure best practices are maintained. Programme support will continue for two years.

Jennie Hamilton


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