Mayor Hails Green Ribbon Environmental Award
Palmerston North’s waste management initiatives at the city’s Awapuni Sustainable Development Centre have been recogised at the annual Green Ribbon awards announced last night in Wellington.
The Palmerston North City Council won the “Public Stepping Up” category for its development at the former landfill site, now a resource recovery centre. Since opening in February 2007, the centre has shifted the focus of the Council from waste management to waste minimisation and resource efficiency.
Mayor Jono Naylor says he is delighted the council’s efforts have been recognised in this way.
“It demonstrates that we are on the right path in our drive to become more sustainable. The Awapuni facility has been a key element in achieving our vision of Palmerston North as a sustainable city.“
It is also a great precursor to the introduction of our new kerbside recycling system which comes into effect in a month’s time, which will help us lift our game even further. I congratulate our staff whose hard work has been instrumental in achieving this result.”
The Sustainable Development Centre has achieved significant increases in the diversion of tyres, scrap metal, green waste, wood waste, food waste, and liquid organics from landfill. Future plans for the centre include the addition of an e-waste/battery recycling and hazardous chemicals drop-off site and the further development of processing and composting facilities for organic waste.
The centre is achieving high diversion and recycling rates and has a key target of diverting 75% of waste from landfill by 2015. The centre is currently collecting and processing approximately 6000 tonnes of recycling annually covering all the major waste streams. Between 2007 and 2010, 3000 tonnes of recovered glass has been used in roading and construction projects.
Palmerston North City Council has ensured that awareness-raising and education about waste minimisation is achieved through the centre's visitor facilities. Thousands of people attend the tours and seminars at the site each year.
Environment Minister Nick Smith, who announced the award, says it recognises an organisation which has taken practical action to deal with environmental challenges such as climate change, water quality, biodiversity and waste.
“I congratulate all the winners and finalists for going the extra mile to protect and enhance New Zealand's environment," the minister said.