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Christchurch City Council Media Release 11 October 1999

Council Goes Gardening

Gardens for the public at various sites around Christchurch is the aim of a Christchurch City Council waste engineer.

Getting rid of waste is a major concern for any city and the Christchurch City Council is tackling the problem on several other fronts.

While controversy rages over the landfill project in Malvern, which involves more than a dozen South Island councils, the Council is pushing ahead with investigations to "maximise the use of organic resources, currently wasted in the city."

The Council’s solid waste engineer, Eric Park, says the city could see the development of people’s gardens (three in the first year) and a subsidised home chipping service for large garden waste.

He also wants to see the promotion of home composting, with help from "master composters" – either interested or trained residents in the art to help others.

Mr Park says more kids’ edible gardens in schools are wanted and more community gardens, such as the Te Whare Roimata gardens and the Packe Street garden.

He says these could be created in people’s back yards, by pulling down fences, and on spare Council land.

Use of materials recovered from the landfills could be used to make composting bins for use in community gardens and also by the public.

"Organic material landfilled in Christchurch is a valuable resource, some of which could be used for composting in community gardens to develop and empower those communities most in need of assistance," he says.

This, he says, will meet the environmental (waste minimisation) and social goals already publicly stated by the Council.

He took his proposals to the City Services Committee recently and it decided to recommend to the council that the proposals be sent to the community boards for consideration and at the same time the committee will seek $250,000 to be added to the 2000-2001 financial year’s accounts. Funds from other bodies will be sought.

Mr Park expects donations and voluntary contributions from community groups to be valued at $680,000. "By providing seeding funding of only 29 per cent of the total project cost the Council could therefore facilitate a project worth around $1 million," he said.

Further information:

Eric Park, solid waste engineer: 941 8290.

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