Relaunch for organic recycling scheme

The Dunedin City Council and Otago Farmers Market Trust are relaunching what they say is an organic recycling scheme which has the potential to be taken up across the country.

The relaunch is necessary because the scheme did not work well enough when first introduced last year, but council waste strategy officer Cath Irvine said yesterday changes introduced should fix the problems.

Since changes to packaging, with wax no longer used in the manufacturer of the disposable coffee cups used at the market, up to 64% of waste was compostable, Ms Irvine said.

That waste was being sent to a worm farm, "closing the loop" for the market by having waste returned to the soil.

When the scheme was introduced last year, there was confusion for users about what waste went where, meaning the compostable material was contaminated.

The new scheme would offer an organic collection, as well as a three-bay recycling station which would have bins for glass, plastics, cans, and general waste.

The scheme was being watched by other markets, was setting standards for best practice waste management, and if successful, would be used elsewhere, Ms Irvine said.

Trust general manager John More said the market aimed to have all product packaging able to be recycled or composted by October.

He urged market patrons to help make the initiative a success by taking a moment to identify which bin to put waste in.

- david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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