WasteMINZ has launched a nationwide competition with a $25,000 prize to encourage New Zealanders to rinse their recycling before they put it out for kerbside collection. The cash windfall will be awarded to the best social media post that promotes and demonstrates how to ‘Rinse,Recycle,Repeat.’

Entrants are asked to upload a video or content showing how they rinse their recycling the right way and post to Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram or TikTok with the tag @RinseRecycleRepeatNZ

The competition which opens today will run until 5 November 2021 and is part of a wider WasteMINZ campaign funded by the Ministry for the Environment which aims to change behaviour when it comes to recycling practices.

Every year New Zealanders create 17.49 million tonnes of waste, on average that’s 3.5 tonnes of waste for every tane, wahine and tamaiti right across Aotearoa. An estimated 25% of recyclable items end up being sent to landfill because they are contaminated or aren’t clean enough for the recycling process. 

The environmental cost is the ever increasing size of landfills, currently filling up at an annual rate of 12.59 million tonnes. That’s the same weight as all the materials required to build the Auckland sky tower 600 times…every year!

There is also a huge financial burden. On average it costs $212 per tonne or $1000 per truck to send non-recyclable items to landfill. This cost is passed on to ratepayers around the country.

“It’s a needless end for potentially recyclable materials and we can do better”, says WasteMINZ Sector Projects Manager Sarah Pritchett. “We really want to encourage people to give rinsing their recycling a go and to realise that it’s not that hard. Their effort will reduce our waste to landfills significantly, so their actions have a huge positive flow on effect.”