The first Waste Minimisation Community Funding round allocated nearly $50,000 in grants to further the momentum of Queenstown Lakes District’s zero waste initiatives.
Announced at the end of May, Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) property and infrastructure general manager Peter Hansby said the community fund was an initiative of Council’s Waste Minimisation and Management Plan (WMMP). “When we asked the community for input on the WMMP last year, we received a clear message that Council should be doing more to support community-driven initiatives,” he said. “This fund is our response to that, and we’re looking forward to seeing the positive effect these projects will have in our drive towards zero waste and a sustainable district.”
The fund approved grants to five zero waste programs, including initiatives driven by Plastic Free Wānaka, ONE New Zealand/Plastic Free Wānaka and Local Food Wānaka.
Anna van Riel of Plastic Free Wānaka said she was ‘stoked’ to hear the news. “We will create a superhero called ‘Waste Free Wanda’ who will bring humour, music and learning to our community,” she said. “Waste Free Wanda will create catchy songs on reducing waste and offer solutions on how to reduce single-use plastic. Waste Free Wanda is a strong reflection on how Plastic Free Wānaka loves to connect with our community through education, music, creativity and lots of belly laughing.”
Members of ONE New Zealand and Plastic Free Wānaka said they are excited to work together to implement a coffee cup lending scheme into local cafes to help move away from the make-use-dispose culture of coffee cups. The funding will help them offset the 295 million single-use, most often coffee, cups, that are sent to landfill in Aotearoa each year, which produce methane as they degrade.
Federal Diner owner Brona Parsons said, “As a restaurant owner I am super excited to offer this cup lending scheme to my regular customers and visitors and to see the reduction of waste to landfill. It’s a no-brainer to our small businesses, our town and to the community as a whole.”