Zero Waste Markets
EcoMatters Environment Trust has been successfully delivering the waste management at the New Lynn Night Market and Wesley Market for two years with some incredible results. At the New Lynn Night Market, the waste team from EcoMatters have managed to divert forty-six wheelie bins of waste from landfill in just seven months! An incredible result that we are very proud of. Thanks to the wonderful support from our regular volunteers that help make this happen every week as we all strive toward a zero waste future Auckland together.
How we deliver a zero waste market:
Firstly, each bin station is manned by a friendly volunteer to ensure that the right items end up in the right bins. It can be confusing sometimes so they make it easy with their helpful suggestions.
We have a recycling bin that takes 1-7 plastics. All contaminated plastics are washed and squashed before they go into the bin.
We have bins just for compostable items, such as compostable packaging, napkins, brown bags, and chopsticks. These items are sent to Rubbish Direct for processing, who then send the items to Biocosmo where they are turned into into compost.
Any left-over food and scraps are scraped from plates into dedicated food bins. The food waste is then taken to EcoMatters where we process it in large scale bokashi bins. Once these bins are fully processed we distribute the solids back into the community gardens and compost! Check out bokashi, it makes great fertiliser for your garden.
Wash Against Waste
To add to the zero waste approach we have Wash Against Waste present at the market as this reduces the amount of compostable packaging that is produced and used at the market. Sarah Jane Murray has been working with all the food vendors to educate them about the packaging that they are using, and encourages them to use the real crockery provided. The vendors and customers love the real crockery and it gives the New Lynn Night Market the edge over all the other markets in Auckland.
There is a strict No Polystyrene policy at the New Lynn Night Market which helps hugely. We are still working on the plastic cutlery and plastic bags that seem to appear from time to time! It’s a work in progress.
Simply, we do not have a landfill bin accessible to the public. Radical huh?!
If someone approaches the resource station we point out that that plastic bag or plastic spoon that they have acquired is actual landfill and that we do not have a bin for them. They then have the option of either keeping the item, or we take the item back to the vendor that produced it in the first place.
The zero waste approach that we have adopted at the New Lynn Night Market relies heavily on our amazing volunteers and we are always keen for people to join us on our journey to zero waste. Onward and upward!