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Food scrap trial put on the table

Wairarapa Community Centre Trust [WCCT] is jumping ahead of new legislation to run a food scrap collection trial in a small segment of Masterton.

The Ministry for the Environment announced changes to the nation’s waste management system earlier this year on March 29.

Some of these changes will come into effect as early as next year and, by 2030, food scrap collections will be available to households in all urban areas.

As part of a local trial, WCCT is offering to collect the food scraps of homes in the streets surrounding St Matthew’s Church.

The scraps will be composted at the community garden at St Matthew’s Church.

Pamphlets have been dropped off to select homes on Park Ave, Archer St, Elizabeth St, Keaton St, and Church St.

The trial period of three months will allow WCCT to gather data on how much food scraps it’s able to collect; data that it is happy to share with the local council.

WCCT centre manager Bev Jack said the organisation would be happy to work alongside the council, but the community garden at St Matthew’s Church will not be large enough to use in the long run.

The WCCT initiative plans to collect food scraps every Friday to coincide with the area’s rubbish collection schedule.

The programme provides residents with a scrap bucket with a biodegradable liner that will be wiped and replaced with each collection.

Keeping the initiative clean and green, Jack has ordered a small bike trailer to be used with the bicycle kindly donated by the Wairarapa Resource Centre.

She said there’s no reason there can’t be more programmes like this throughout Masterton and wider Wairarapa, noting that the scraps don’t all have to go to one place as long as they are being utilised.

Jack said WCCT’s programme aims to not only provide compost for the community garden but also to “empower the community to participate”.

The buckets provided will detail what can and cannot be composted, but there will still be room for error.

“We are hoping that by having small containers, we minimise the contamination,” Jack said.

The first collection date for the project will be on September 8 and run each week until the end of the trial.

Other national waste management plan changes include increasing collection cohesiveness across Aotearoa, with all councils accepting the same materials in their household collections from February 2024.

Recycling collections will be available to households in all urban areas by 2027.

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