28 Dec 2017

Best features of 2017: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

6:46 am on 30 December 2017

Earth Day whakaaro: ‘Everything connects’

Seven New Zealanders recommend a daily change they think Kiwis could make to help Aotearoa’s environment.

Kate Meads

Kate Meads Photo: supplied

Closing the packaging waste loop

A watering can by TerraCycle

Photo: Supplied

How can you turn junk into cash, and encourage manufacturers and consumers to do the right thing when it comes to cutting down and disposing of packaging waste? These are some of the questions preoccupying Tom Szaky, the founder and CEO of TerraCycle, a global recycling company trying to find other uses for waste.

Mining e-waste for gold

There aren't too many options for recycling your old computers, laptops, phones and tablets here in NZ - most of it gets dumped in landfill or sent overseas. A company in Auckland has developed a way to mine precious metals like gold, silver and palladium using bacteria.

View of a waste recycling site piled with scrapped home appliances in Guiyang city, southwest China's Guizhou province

 View of a waste recycling site piled with scrapped home appliances in Guiyang city, southwest China's Guizhou province, 12 September 2017. Photo: Hu yan - Imaginechina

New ways with old clothes

Overconsumption of clothing is a big waste issue in the world's major cities, with polyester contaminating waterways. But now a New Zealand company is doing something about it.

a pile of waste clothing

Photo: Public domain

Plastic bags – new options to recycle and replace

Last year, the Soft Plastic Recycling Project collected 100 tonnes of packaging from 200 bins set up in Countdowns, Pak'n'Saves, New Worlds and Warehouses. 

No caption

Photo: Nikki Heath / Wanaka Sun

Waste not, want not

'Learn, Fix, Buy' reads a sign in the window of the Edinburgh Remakery. Here, and at a sister site in South London, people learn how to mend their own furniture, textiles, phones and computers.

A furniture repair lesson

Photo: Supplied by the Edinburgh Remakery

The family living plastic-free

Rachel Benefield's family of five hasn't bought single-use plastic for six months. It's surprising how hard ditching plastic isn't, she tells Jesse Mulligan.

Ngahuia, Rachel, Luka with Charlie (ginger cat) Rosa, Albert and Oscar Wilde Paws (kelpie)

Ngahuia, Rachel, Luka with Charlie (ginger cat) Rosa, Albert and Oscar Wilde Paws (kelpie) Photo: Supplied

Inside a zero-waste home

Liam Prince and Hannah Blumhardt have been living zero-waste in Wellington for over two years. They send nothing to landfill, use no more than one wheelie bin for recycling a year and buy no disposable plastic.

Hannah Blumhardt and Liam Prince

Hannah Blumhardt and Liam Prince Photo: Supplied

Rescuing timber from the landfill one beam at a time

Robert Scott is saving waste and surplus wood from the building industry from getting bulldozed into the landfill and restoring it so it for re-use.

A compilation of images from Reclaimed Timber Traders

A compilation of images from Reclaimed Timber Traders Photo: Supplied

Get the new RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes