7 Oct 2015

Call to move from landfill to incineration

8:13 pm on 7 October 2015

A new book on New Zealand's waste says rubbish has doubled in the past 50 years - and the rate is unsustainable.

Landfill, Timaru

Plastic bags in a landfill in Timaru Photo: Samual Mann / CC BY 2.0

Two-and-a-half-million tonnes of waste goes into the country's landfills every year, and each New Zealander generates, on average, 400 kilograms a year.

The author of the book, Waikato University professor Alexander Gillespie, said New Zealand needed to move away from using landfills and look to waste incineration.

"The best kind of incineration now, which is like 1200 degrees plus, with multiple filters and the best kind of protection and brackets that you can use...

"You burn the waste, you get rid of 90 percent plus of the waste, and you capture the waste from that process and you put it back in the power grid."

Professor Gillespie said New Zealand used liners in landfills that last for only 80 to 100 years, leaving a problem for future generations.

Find out more about the book: Waste Policy: International Regulation, Comparitive and Contextual Perspectives. (Edward Elgar, London, 2015)