Wastebusters’ site may be closed for the moment but zero waste (much like my first born) never sleeps!

So what can you do to make less waste in lockdown?

While the district’s Material Recovery Facility – where the contents of our yellow bins is sorted – is closed during the lockdown, pull the cardboard and paper out of your mixed recycling bin and use it in the garden instead.

  • Keep weeds in check by layering cardboard around raised beds and on pathways. Hold it in place with anything heavy lying around your garden
  • Shredded paper and cardboard is a great source of carbon or brown material, to balance out all your “green” food scraps and grass clippings in your compost heap

If you normally recycle with Wastebusters, you can hold onto your recycling until we’re back open again. The most useful materials for us are number 1 and 2 plastic bottles (which we can recycle onshore), cans and cardboard. Do make sure that you clean bottles and cans out before storing them so they don’t get stinky (or attract rodents)! Keep your cardboard clean and dry too as wet cardboard can’t be turned into anything useful except garden mulch.

Wastebusters covers all our own recycling costs, so we have a user-pays charge of $3 per crate of recycling to help pay for the sorting, storage and transportation of recycling to the reprocessors who make it into something new.

To make the most of the food you already have – so you can make the most of staying home – check out Love Food Hate Waste for tips on storing food, using leftovers and plenty of recipes. My tips?

  • save child-nibbled fruit and veggies for the juices, smoothies or crumbles
  • use leftovers straight away or freeze them so they won’t be wasted
  • little bitty leftovers that don’t amount to meal can make for an interesting pizza
  • when you’ve exhausted creative ways of using up leftovers and bits of half-eaten fruit, compost!

We have composting resources on wastebusters.co.nz and if you have any questions ask Dr Dr Compost. He’s always happy to answer your composting questions. Connect via Facebook, Instagram or email drcompost@wastebusters.co.nz.

Stay well Wanaka, see you back at Wasties when all this is over!