Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Tauranga rewards Good Neighbours

A food rescue group, early childhood centre, and a project turning waste plastic into pens, clocks and earrings are among the recipients of a contestable fund supporting waste reduction projects across Tauranga.

The Resource Wise Community Fund is a $75,000 annual contestable fund offered by Tauranga City Council to encourage reducing, reusing and recycling our waste. Seven projects will be funded this year, Council has announced.

Good Neighbour has once again secured funding towards its programmes, supporting vulnerable communities and reducing waste at the same time.

The organisation rescues food from supermarkets, cafes, manufacturers and orchards and redistributes it to local charities and vulnerable communities. The food rescue programme is currently supplying roughly 1.4 million meals per year, diverting 503 tonnes of food from landfill. 

The funding will also go towards Good Neighbour’s firewood team, which has rescued 300 cubic metres of wood from across Tauranga, supplying more than 100 families with firewood over the winter months.

Organic materials such as wood, food and paper in landfill create methane, an aggressive greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Good Neighbour is tackling two of these methane sources – food and wood waste   

General Manager at Good Neighbour, Simone Gibson said the initiatives wouldn’t be possible without support from the community.   

“Without the generous support from councils, local organisations and volunteers, food and wood would continue to be sent to landfill, contributing to New Zealand’s waste problem.”

“Instead, we’re able to use it to keep families warm and well fed,” said Ms Gibson.


Greerton Early Learning Centre is using the Resource Wise grant to build an ‘at-home reusable nappy cycle’, providing reusable nappies for children to wear at home and at the centre.    

Liesel Carnie, Tauranga City Council Waste Minimisation Officer, said alongside organic waste, disposable nappies are one of our biggest waste issues because they can’t be recycled or composted.

“On average a baby could use approximately 4000 to 6000 disposable nappies in their lifetime, which will all end up in landfill – taking years to break down.

“If parents were to switch to reusable nappies, that figure can be reduced to about 30 nappies,” said Liesel.

EnviroHub has also received a grant to support its Precious Plastics project. Precious Plastics is a global movement that turns plastics into exciting new products. The Tauranga branch turns clean plastic lids into pens, clocks and earrings, with more products to come. People can drop their clean plastic lids (no silicon or metal) to Envirohub, Building 25, Historic Village, 17th Avenue.

Other recipients include:
•    Reuse Aotearoa, which will be investigating reusable packaging opportunities in Tauranga
•    Mount Maunganui Toy Library, which will purchase new, long-lasting toys to add to its toy collection, encouraging people to borrow toys rather than buying new ones
•    Mainstream Green, which will run a waste reduction workshop and build a network of ‘waste activators’ across Tauranga through a six-week course
•    Accessible Properties, which will support its tenants to use the new kerbside collections service to reduce waste sent to landfill.
People can keep up to date with the successful projects here:

The fund will reopen for applications in early 2022.

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