26 January 2024

Mangawhai Gala day waste diversion

Another Gala day has passed, another wonderful fundraiser for Mangawhai domain.
Gala is the largest event in Mangawhai each year and so what about the waste from this event?

Sustainable Kaipara was pleased to work again with Mangawhai gala and the legends from Mangawhai Shed to offer separate bins for recycling, organics and Landfill with support from KDC and Barfoot and Thompson.

We are very grateful to have volunteers guiding people as to which bin their waste goes into. This is crucial because if bins get contaminated (particularly recycling), the contents won’t be recycled. We asked some of our volunteers why they commit on a hot day like this to supervise bins at an event:

“I like helping people and I think it’s good people can learn which bin to put the rubbish in”
~ Brody (9yrs old)

“We like volunteering with Sustainable Kaipara because they educate and solve challenges with our local waste”
~ Rebecca

“I like helping rubbish go in the right place”
~ Sebastian (7yrs old)

“I enjoy visiting the annual gala to support the local stall holders, so it makes sense to help out for a couple of hours on the bins while I’m there, to help keep our environment clean and as sustainable as possible”
~ Heidi Baker

What were our results?

We were able to divert 3 large wheelie bins of recycling and 1 ½ bins of organics. This sadly still left us with a lot of landfill waste.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?

One of our key messages to customers is to think about how can YOU be waste free at an event such as this and prepare before attending:

  • Take reusable dinnerware with you (cups, a plate, cutlery) and take it home to wash.
  • Choose food or drink that doesn’t use packaging, or that you are sure can be recycled after use.
  • When using bins, be sure to put the correct items in the correct bins to avoid contamination.

We were disappointed to hear a customer was turned down when she tried to use her reusable smoothie cup at a stall – we need the support of all stall holders to reduce their waste at these events! On a positive note we were pleased to see a person with two reusable cups and a plate, meaning that after she purchased her coffees and some food she had nothing left to put in the bins! Great effort and great satisfaction!

So what about all the packaging?

We had some complaints about items that seemed could go into organics/compostable bins that couldn’t and were being landfilled instead. The problem is not all packaging it made correctly and not all of it can be actually be composted. Our first priority with events is to try and set up re use systems where possible. Alternatively we can use certain types of compostable packaging – and we require the event holders to ensure all stallholders have the correct types of compostable packaging so this can be composted through a commercial composting site.

So we carry on with a goal to reduce waste going to landfill and look after Papatūānuku.

We encourage events to contact us if they would like support around waste minimisation for events they are running – this is best done at the very beginning of your organising so that we can provide guidelines for stallholders and the like.

What’s your next step on your journey? Check out our website for lots of ideas to reduce waste and protect our precious environment. www.sustainablekaipara.org

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