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Changes to landfill levy proposed

Options to significantly increase the levy and expand its collection are open for submission.

In November 2019 the government produced a consultation document Reducing waste: a more effective landfill levy. The document points out that while in other countries there is growing recovery and recycling of materials, in New Zealand, waste sent to landfills has been steadily increasing.

The current landfill levy is $10 per tonne (excluding GST) and only applies to municipal landfills (which take around 45 per cent of the waste disposed of in New Zealand, excluding waste disposed of into cleanfills).

Significant quantities of waste from construction and demolition are not subject to a levy at the moment.

The proposal is for a levy of $20 per tonne for construction and demolition fills (and for an increase at municipal landfills to $50 or $60 per tonne.)

The Ministry for the Environment estimates current levy-related waste disposal charges for construction and demolition waste of around $6.6 million each year. The levy-related cost of disposal under the proposed new levy could be between $68.9 and $75.55 million.

Submissions to government can be made until 3 February 2020.

You can find more information here.

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Building Code updates announced

Changes to the Building Code affect ground prone to liquefaction and steel framing.

At the end of November 2019 the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) published updates to the New Zealand Building Code.

Regulations around liquefaction-prone ground, already in place in Canterbury, now apply to all New Zealand. Acceptable Solution B1/AS1 cannot be used on ground prone to liquefaction or lateral spreading.

B1/AS1 is also amended to include the information on the design of foundations in expansive soils previously in the Simple House Acceptable Solution SH/AS1. SH/AS1 will be revoked.

Current Building Code solutions to ‘good ground’ in B1/AS1 will continue to comply until 28 November 2021. Councils and territorial authorities must complete liquefaction mapping within the two years.

The National Association of Steel Framed Housing (NASH) standard is now an Acceptable Solution. Current Building Code solutions continue to comply for building consent applications lodged until 28 February 2020. Existing methods used after this must be considered as an Alternative Solution proposal.You can find more information about the updates here.

 

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Deconstruction partnership a winner in Sustainable Awards.

Building deconstruction proved a winner in the 2019 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.

TROW Group and Green Way have developed building deconstruction techniques that reduce landfill waste and deliver salvaged building materials to new destinations. To date, 310 tonnes of waste has been diverted from landfill with around 30 tonnes, mainly timber and building materials, made available to community organisations such as churches, maraes and schools.Auckland Council has contributed by creating contract specifications that enable the process.As part of the same awards, the Communicating for Change award was won by the Tauranga City Council for its ‘Save Our Pipes from Wipes’ campaign.After a sewage overflow caused by wet wipes, Tauranga City Council launched a campaign to raise awareness around sustainability and significantly reduce the amount of wet wipes flushed down the toilet. (Around two tonnes of wipes were being removed from Tauranga’s wastewater system each week.)

The campaign included digital marketing, radio, bus backs, billboards, media coverage, posters, brochures and badges. Social media marketing reached more than 113,000 people and generated over 143,000 video views.

As a result of the campaign, the number of sewerage overflows caused by wet wipes reduced by 40%.

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