Objective 3-5, Policies 3-8, 3-9, 3-10 and 3-11 and associated methods set up an overarching policy framework for reducing waste* generation and managing the environmental effects of waste*discharges to air, land and water.

The Stocktake on Waste Report (Horizons Regional Council, 2004) was a first regional attempt to assess the amount and type of waste* generated in the Region, and the current level of existing waste* reduction and reuse opportunities. The report indicated that approximately 22 years of landfill* space remained in the Region, based on current disposal rates. Looking ahead, possible scenarios include:
  1. the establishment of more landfills* for both domestic and industrial waste*, with associated environmental effects
  2. increased costs associated with limited disposal space or transport and disposal outside the Region
  3. reducing the amount of waste* generated to enable remaining landfill* space to last longer.
Policy 3-8 establishes a hierarchy of reducing, reusing, recycling, recovering and finally disposing of waste*. Policies 3-8, 3-9 and 3-10 together encourage reduction, reuse and recycling activities by being less restrictive and discouraging waste* disposal as a first option. This framework is encouraged at the national level by the New Zealand Waste Strategy (Ministry for the Environment, 2002). Policy 3-11 also sets high standards for landfills*, reflecting the significant adverse effects that waste* disposal can have on the environment.

Territorial Authorities are required to develop waste* management strategies under the Local Government Act 2002 and, along with private operators, to provide and manage waste* disposal services. It is appropriate that the Regional Council works with the Territorial Authorities on the Region's generic waste* issues, to provide a consistent approach to waste* management and waste* minimisation where possible.

Public information on the appropriate disposal of wastes* and opportunities for reduction, reuse and recycling are key to reducing waste* to landfill* into the future.