Green bin service keeps meat out of landfill

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Published: 29 Aug 2019

Timaru District Council has stepped in to help reduce the amount of meat waste going to landfill after the withdrawal of a waste business.

Around 40 extra green bins have recently provided by Timaru District Council for local butchers and supermarkets to dispose of meat waste.

Council Waste Minimisation Manager, Ruth Clarke, said the volumes involved meant that special instruction had to be given to ensure the continuing quality of the compost.

“We began receiving calls from local butchers and supermarkets recently as their previous contractor would no longer accept meat waste from the businesses,” she said.

“Butchers and supermarkets were urgently looking for an alternative way to dispose of their meat waste.

“After a consultation with our contractors, Council determined that the volume of meat waste available could safely be accepted at the composting site.

“We then contacted 16 district butchers and supermarkets to ascertain their interest in a weekly collection of the material.

“In addition to the meat waste, we also collect their dirty cardboard, shredded paper and hand towels, which help the decomposition process by adding carbon to the waste stream.

“By the following week, butchers had already received their bins and most others received theirs within the fortnight.

“We believe that it was an excellent opportunity for Council to take an active role in waste management and responding to our community’s needs.”

Timaru New World is one of the 16 organisations whose meat waste is no longer accepted by their previous contractor according to the store manager Amanda Hogan.

“As we received short notice of the change in criteria for meat waste supply, we had to find an immediate alternative for disposal.  Without another option for discarding our meat waste, it would have ended up in landfill”. Ms Hogan said.

“Our first call was to the Council’s Waste Minimisation Team to discuss possible options. The Council responded within days with a solution.  Additional green bins will be utilised and collected curb-side weekly. This process is easily managed and requires very little change to our existing method for collecting and disposing of this waste product.”

“We are pleased with this outcome, the end result being a practical use for what is essentially a waste product.” Ms Hogan said.

“Given that high volume meat waste was a new issue facing the Council, I would say they have responded and acted in a very efficient and professional way. We are very grateful for that.” Ms Hogan said.

“In fact, the Council’s Waste Minimisation Team has historically provided us with great support and advice on minimising landfill waste and fully utilising the Council’s waste management services.”

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021