Ensuring that waste is managed and disposed of responsibly
Waste disposal takes many forms including direct discharge to land or water, and sludge disposal. Such wastes need to be managed in such a way that the adverse effects are minimised to protect the environment and human health.
Community and Public Health works with local and regional councils to ensure that both solid and liquid waste is disposed of in healthy manner to prevent:
- chemicals and pathogens contaminating drinking water;
- contamination of soil by heavy metals from industrial processes and surface runoff;
- creating favourable environments for disease-causing bacteria and viruses including bioaerosols;
- unpleasant or harmful odour problems; and
- unfavourable effects on Māori cultural values since they place high value on their land and water.
The Medical Officer of Health and Health Protection Officers have specific powers under the Waste Management and Minimisation Act 2008:
- Councils are legally required to consult with the Medical Officer of Health when preparing a Waste Management and Minimisation plan (Section 51); and
- Health Protection Officers have powers to serve notice on a Council to abate a waste nuisance (Section 55).
Waste reduction is something where we can all make a tangible difference – whether it is reducing single use plastic, recycling materials we use and using less disposable materials that end up in landfills.
Dealing with liquid waste products
The primary sources for liquid waste are:
- septic tanks from residential properties,
- reticulated wastewater systems including Wastewater Treatment Plants; and
- disposal of oils, fats and sludge from Offensive Trades such as fish cleaning, rubbish collecting and stock yards.
Download an information sheet on the impact of urban waste pollution on local waterways, including stormwater and sewage overflows [237KB PDF].
Contact your local council for more information on waste water:
Dealing with solid waste including recycling
The primary sources of solid waste are domestic, commercial and industrial waste from processes and packaging, demolition material and organic materials.
Rubbish collection and disposal is primarily the responsibility of district and regional councils under the Local Government Act 2002 and the Resource Management Act 1991.
Contact your local council for more information on rubbish and recycling:
Say hello to blue bins in the Timaru District
Timaru District Council media release: 12th May 2021
Timaru District Council is beginning the significant process of delivering 22,000 new blue bins as part of its new service from early July.
The new 80 litre blue bins for the separate collection of glass bottles and jars are a new addition to the existing red, yellow and green bins. The new bins will significantly reduce contamination from broken glass in the yellow recycling bins.
“Separating glass bottles and jars out enables us to send it to a specialist company that will recycle it into bottles for the New Zealand wine industry,” says Council Group Manager Infrastructure Andrew Dixon.
“It’s really important to remember that although this goes some way to improving our recycling performance, it’s really important that we also keep focusing on reducing the other major sources of yellow bin contamination such as unclean or inappropriate items.”
Contact your local CPH office for further information:
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6125
Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091
Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169
How to live more sustainably
Waste management is a major challenge in NZ as three quarters of our waste that is sent to landfill is recoverable.
We can show love for our environment and our planet by living as waste-free as possible. We can also waste less money in the process!
- Choose products with compostable or biodegradable packaging – avoiding those with unnecessary or unrecyclable packaging.
- Use reusable bags and containers.
Get more information on how to live waste free (Recycle NZ).