2.2 Waste reduction and energy conservation

Whakaiti para, hangarua me te pena pūnga

Sustainability is about meeting our needs now without burdening future generations

What we do

Energy efficiency and conservation

Closed landfill aftercare

Waste minimisation, disposal and recycling

Our waste reduction and energy conservation activities contribute to us beingTop

People-centred – Developing funding partnerships with key stakeholders to insulate Wellington homes improves the health and quality of life of Wellington’s residents. Collaboration between the Council and the community to reduce waste and increase recycling promotes community ownership of sustainable management of the environment.

Eco-city – Reduced waste and increased waste recycling and organic composting minimises the use of landfills and promotes the sustainable management of resources. A focus on energy efficiency for the city’s households and businesses will reduce costs and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Developing partnerships and encouraging policies for continued development of renewable energy in the city will be crucial for the Council’s Eco-City aspirations.

Dynamic central city – Facilitating greater construction of Greenstar rated buildings in the city centre, energy efficiency retrofits of central city office buildings and businesses as well as the uptake of emerging ‘green’ technologies will allow Wellington to showcase its Eco-City credentials.

Students on the Building Science course at Victoria University carried out energy audits at our branch libraries. We then had a young professional from the Sustainable Building Council collaborate on further research into the students’ findings, and make recommendations to reduce energy use at branch libraries.

Key projectsTop

During the year:

– This year an estimated 12,000 tonnes of recyclables were diverted from the landfill through the Council domestic kerbside recycling service. 800 tonnes of organic food waste was diverted from landfills through the Council's Kai to Compost food waste collections service, and through the Council compost operations, 8500 tonnes of green waste was processed.

Partnering with Envirocomp

We are working in partnership with New Zealand's first nappy composting service, Envirocomp. Nappies as a single use item are a divertible waste stream from landfills, and Envirocomp is a local entity that has provided a network of nappy collection points for Wellingtonians. The service is provided for users who are willing to pay a nominal fee to have nappies recycled, rather than disposed of to landfill. The Council has subsidised the first 5200 nappy recycling bags sold in the city, and have a drop-off point at the Southern Landfill recycling centre.


What it costsTop

Operating Expenditure ($000) Actual
2.2.1 Waste Minimisation, Disposal and Recycling Management1        
Expenditure 10,711 11,845 1,134 11,244
Revenue (12,079) (11,828) 251 (11,962)
Net Expenditure (1,368) 17 1,385 (718)
2.2.2 Closed Landfills Aftercare2        
Expenditure (728) 479 1,207 (181)
Net Expenditure (728) 479 1,207 (181)
2.2.3 Energy Efficiency and Conservation        
Expenditure 173
Net Expenditure 173
Capital Expenditure ($000) Actual
2.2.1 Waste Minimisation, Disposal and Recycling Management3        
Expenditure 488 530 41 1,103
Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward N/A 933   N/A
2.2.2 Closed Landfills Aftercare        
2.2.3 Energy Efficiency and Conservation        
Expenditure 44 76 32 97
Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward N/A 19   N/A
  1. Under budget due to receipt of an unbudgeted distribution payment from the Spicer Landfill joint venture, and higher volumes of general waste through the landfill than budgeted.
  2. Under budget as the annual reassessment of future closed landfill monitoring costs resulted in a reduction in the provision which shows as income in our financial statements.
  3. Under budget due to delays in the submission of the resource consent lodgement for the stage 4 extension of the Southern Landfill, and delays to the implementation of the bin trial project.

How we performedTop

We have an active energy management programme that helps us monitor energy use across all of our energy accounts and identify and implement energy savings projects. We have a fleet management programme that is constantly looking to optimise fleet use and also improve driver performance for safety and fuel use outcomes.

We assess energy efficiency activities by measuring city and Council greenhouse gas emissions and Council energy use.

We assess our effectiveness in waste disposal and minimisation by monitoring resource consent compliance and by measuring resident use of, and satisfaction with, waste management activities.

To measure how well we provide and encourage the use of recycling services to divert valuable material from the waste stream

Resident (%) satisfaction with recycling and waste collection

Resident (%) satisfaction with recycling and waste collection.

Source: WCC Residents’ Monitoring Survey 2013

Waste diverted from the landfill vs. total waste to the landfill (tonnes)

Waste diverted from the landfill vs. total waste to the landfill (tonnes).

Note: Diverted material includes kerbside recycling and inflows of soils that are able to be diverted.

Source: WCC CitiOperations

Residents’ (%) weekly usage of kerbside recycling collection service

Residents’ (%) weekly usage of kerbside recycling collection service.

Source: WCC Residents’ Monitoring Survey 2013

Kerbside recycling collected (tonnes)

Kerbside recycling collected (tonnes).

Source: WCC CitiOperations

Previously, kerbside recycling combined glass with other recyclable products. Broken glass contaminated the recyclable material which then resulted in low volumes being processed in New Zealand, due to the abrasive deterioration the product caused to the reprocessing machines.

Within the new kerbside collection scheme, the volumes collected are of a higher quality due to glass being segregated at the point of collection into its own recyclable stream. This has allowed paper and glass to be processed in New Zealand – contributing to local employment and our recyclable export market. In most cases recyclables are now contributing to the ongoing costs associated with the provision of the kerbside recycling service.

To measure how efficiently we dispose of waste and its impact on the environment

Energy sourced from the Southern Landfill

Result: 5.2 GWh (target: 8 GWh, 2011/12: 8.3GWh; 2010/11: 7.4GWh)

There was a lack of gas produced in the landfill due to the drought experienced over the summer months. A lack of rainfall means there is no leachate to promote the breakdown of organic matter.

Source: Nova Energy

Residents’ (%) agreement that waste management services provide good value for money

Result: 80% (target: 85%; 2011/12: 78%; 2010/11: 82%).

Source: WCC Residents’ Monitoring Survey 2013

To measure energy use at Council sites

Council corporate energy use (electricity and natural gas)

Properties Target Result Explanation of variance
Council general (now includes all gas and large electricity sites) No historic data 18,344,189 kWh  
Council pools and recreation facilities Decrease from previous year (17,375,246 kWh)   17,887,367 kWh   2012/13 results were above target because of the reopening of the Tawa pool which had been closed for a long period in 2011/13. We also opened a new hydrotherapy pool at Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre and an additional learner pool at Karori.
Main CCOs No historic data 9,963,836 kWh Changed to include Museums Trust, Wellington Venues, Wellington Waterfront and Zoo Trust.

The warmer weather in summer resulted in a higher than normal demand for air conditioning, which resulted in higher electricity use over the third quarter.

With regard to gas use, we implemented a number of savings. A boiler combustion controller proved effective, and the City Gallery was able to greatly reduce its gas use due to the nature of the exhibitions it held. Under the renewals programme, we installed a new efficient condensing boiler at the Begonia House in the Botanic Garden.

To measure the reduction of the Council’s environmental footprint

Council Corporate greenhouse gas emissions (Tonnes CO2 –e)

WCC Corporate greenhouse gas emissions (Tonnes CO2 –e).

Note: the table above compares emissions from the following sources over a time series; diesel, petrol, electricity, gas, LPG, flights and Southern Landfill. This does not represent the Council's full corporate greenhouse gas inventory but rather a comparison of emissions sources over time.

We are planning to conduct an audit and/or certification of our emissions inventory in the 2013/14 year to be reported on in the 2013/14 Annual Report. This will use best practice standards for corporate emissions measurement and reporting.

Source: WCC Climate Change Office

Number of carbon credits generated from Council reserves per annum

Result: 149,979 (target: 5,000). In addition to its annual allocation of units for post-1989 forests placed either in the Emissions Trading Scheme or the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative, the Council also received a large quantity of one-off units in 2012/13 relating to its pre-1990 forests.

Source: New Zealand Emission Unit Register account