The Rubbish Report

Reading the minutes of the Labour Weekend RRA meeting I saw that someone had brought up ‘rubbish’ as an issue. I’m still uncertain as to what the issue was, as no-one I spoke to could remember the specific details of the topic as it was discussed, so I guessed it was probably something to do with putting recycling correctly in bins and composting food scraps instead of throwing them out with household waste.

I put my hand up to look at the way Rakino-ites put our waste into the communal bins because I’ve had some unpleasant olfactory surprises over the years when I’ve gone to dump my own recycling/household waste after my island visits. I’ve also been perplexed at the sheer volumes of waste that Tom has to deal with after busy weekends, the perennial issue of dead and dying vehicles, and the annual consternation around inorganic collections.

After speaking to Kayleigh Appleton at Waiheke Resources Trust I had an enthusiastic online meeting with representatives from the Island Waste Collective on Waiheke, and the WRT. The discussion was wide-ranging, but the most useful things I took from it was the possibility of availing ourselves of a can crusher from Waiheke, and diverting cardboard from the waste stream going off -island into a community composting initiative. Waiheke Resources Trust would happily provide a composting workshop for interested Rakino-ites.

Keith Enoka, General Manager of Island Waste Collective put me in touch with Bret Dragt from Auckland Council, who sent through the Gulf Islands Waste Plan written in 2018 with input from the Rakino Community, and some useful tips for household waste reduction.

Regretfully we have failed to achieve the waste reduction goals as set out by ourselves.

Tom has done an excellent job on the rubbish contract, tidying up the previous shambles at Home Bay, keeping the bins clean and tidy, and generally cracking down on illegal dumping as far as it is possible, but bach owners, myself included, could be doing a great deal more.

This is the 2018 Waste Plan and Report as it relates to Rakino.

As you can see, the ambition was to achieve the aforementioned composting scheme and use cardboard brown waste on-island, but this hasn’t happened. The bokashi bins have also not been utilised to their full potential. It’s a lost composting opportunity.

Bret Dragt also provided this helpful guideline for waste reduction :

Finally, here is the most recent waste reduction plan, out for community consultation now :


As you can see, the same issues still exist, six years on. The C & D waste referred to in the document is Construction and Demolition waste, the removal of which is the responsibility of builders and householders at their own cost, NOT the council and it’s contractors.

The lowest hanging fruit we can deal with immediately is removing all food waste and cardboard from the waste stream.

I propose we avail ourselves of a community composting workshop via the Waiheke Resources Trust, for any bach owners or residents who want to become composting ninjas. Given that the proportion of green waste to brown waste (paper/cardboard) should be about 50/50 in a successful compost I believe we could eliminate cardboard from the piles of waste which travel off-island.
I’m happy to facilitate the organisation of a composting workshop.

Author: lisa

Part-time Rakino-ite; mainly Auckland-based. I like writing stuff and making things.

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Part-time Rakino-ite; mainly Auckland-based. I like writing stuff and making things.

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