2018 marks the fourth year of the WasteMINZ Awards for Excellence, with the winners to be announced at the WasteMINZ conference gala dinner on 7 November 2018 in Christchurch.

The awards serve to recognise the many successes and advances made right across our industry.

There will be five awards presented at the gala dinner, these are.

  • Best expo site (judged from those exhibiting at the conference)
  • Best written paper –  Contaminated land management (judged from papers presented at the conference)
  • Best written paper – Waste and resource recovery (judged from papers presented at the conference)
  • Best waste or recycling project or initiative (judged from applicants)
  • WasteMINZ People’s Choice Award (voted by WasteMINZ members)

We are now very pleased to announce the three outstanding finalists in the Best waste or recycling project or initiative category. They are:

  • Eco Maintenance for their Staff Wellness Programme
  • Waste Free with Kate Meads for Wasted New Zealand
  • Kilmarnock Enterprises for Gough Group Recycling Project

Eco Maintenance – Staff Wellness Programme

Eco Maintenance places a large and necessary focus on health and safety in the workplace. In order to encourage their staff to engage and participate in improving health and safety, they developed their Staff Wellness Program.

The aim of the program was ultimately to improve the health of staff that may be at risk, so they can be in optimal health at work and to minimise health-related risks which could impact in the field, as well as being fit and healthy returning home to their families.

They did this by helping to educate staff on what aspects of their life may be impacting on their overall health, safety and well-being and giving them tools to address those areas. They developed the programme, in consultation with their staff, addressing issues that are challenging them and that with the right education, support and assistance can have a positive impact on improving their health and wellbeing.

The programme identified key risk areas, their contributing factors, and matched these with interventions to support staff behaviour change.

The programme has been extremely successful, with staff members drastically lowering their blood pressure, a number giving up smoking and many more making sustained changes to their diet and exercise. One staff member has lost 15 kilograms as a result.

Waste Free with Kate Meads – Wasted New Zealand

Wasted New Zealand is a collaborative video project by Kate Meads and filmmaker Brad Stent.

The aim is to highlight to everyday consumers the journey of our waste and recycling, and to encourage them to change their behaviour. By educating the public on where it all goes and what really happens, they wanted to reduce the amount of “blissfully unaware” New Zealanders. 

The project recognises that there are a lot of different rules in each region which makes it very confusing for the consumer. So they aimed to make simple and engaging video resources that could be utilised by all councils in New Zealand. The video resources address key areas including:

  • Recycling: Highlighting the common issues recycling plants across the country face, especially contamination. They also focus on the human aspect of the process, and the very real difference householders can make.
  • Wastewater: Here they address issues that the wastewater facilities are faced with and show the process to filter out chemicals and the ever-growing unwanted solid objects, including flushable wipes and sanitary products.
  • Food waste: Showing what kiwis are throwing away in their rubbish bins, and how much of that is perfectly edible food. They also show the massive financial cost.
  • Transfer station and landfill: This video identifies the opportunity to recycle many products the public sometimes have no idea what to do with i.e. whiteware. and where their waste goes after they’ve put their rubbish bin out.

Wasted New Zealand is a long-term resource that is already being well used by councils all over the country.

Kilmarnock Enterprises – Gough Group Recycling Project

Gough Analytical carries out 2.5 million tests a year on oils, coolants, fuels and greases at its Christchurch laboratory for clients across New Zealand, Tahiti, Samoa and Fiji. The lab can detect any oil contamination in machines and prescribe what is required to ensure that large fleets of equipment are performing to their optimum.

In 2014 Kilmarnock won a contract to clean and recycle in excess of 100,000 contaminated plastic transport canisters a year that these sample kits are sent in.

Clearly, the positive environmental impact of the project was important. Beyond that, the creation of employment opportunities for disadvantaged people was equally valuable and is at the heart of what Kilmarnock does. They were also able to break down social barriers by highlighting to a well known and significant local employer that the workforce Kilmarnock assists is more than capable of high levels of performance in mainstream employment. Kilmarnock also took responsibility for developing an effective and environmentally friendly solution.

The initiative is hugely successful. They now divert in excess of 1,000,000 containers from landfill every year and the process is cost neutral for Gough Analytical. The work also provides employment and training opportunities for Kilmarnock staff, and on the basis of this Kilmarnock has secured additional contracts with Gough Group.