Auckland's Resource Recovery Network

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Auckland's Resource Recovery Network

The concept for Auckland's award winning Resource Recovery Network (RRN) was first developed by Envision's founder, Warren Snow, and ex-director Julie Dickinson, in the 2005 report 'Reclaiming Auckland's Resources'.

Click image to download or view a copy of the report

Click image to download or view a copy of the report

This discussion document gave a vision for a network of up to 60 Community Recycling Centres, and 5 Resource Recovery Parks, working with existing enterprises to divert as much waste as possible from landfill. 

'Reclaiming Auckland's Resources' was well received by the mayors of the various legacy councils, but it was with the forming of the super city in 2010 that the vision really came into it's own and was adopted by Auckland Council as a key way of achieving Zero Waste by 2040.

Since then, Envision has supported the development of the RRN by providing:

  • Technical advice - on the structure, scope and nature of the RRN
  • Site design - concept drawings for site layouts
  • Research - projections on the number of staff, local economic impact, and diversion potential of various operations
  • Community engagement - workshops, presentations, group facilitation
  • Mentorship - of organisations establishing new community-led resource recovery enterprises

The future is bright for the Resource Recovery Network - momentum has been established and new enterprises and initiatives are emerging monthly.

We're looking forward to seeing how the RRN develops from here, but for now, the following videos give a good overview of some of the great things happening within the RRN currently.

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Resource Rescue

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Resource Rescue

Resource Rescue is a social enterprise founded by Envision on behalf of a charitable trust. Envision developed the concept, established the business, employed the staff, and proved the business model. After 18 months of operation, Resource Rescue became its own legal entity in April 2017 and self-managing in all aspects of the business. At that point Envision was able to withdraw from all responsibilities.

Resource Rescue recovers whiteware from Auckland's Inorganic Recovery Project, either repairing appliances for reuse, or recovering parts to be used in the repair of other appliances. Aside from diverting over 28 tonnes of appliances from scrap metal, the business is focused on creating local employment opportunities in Tāmaki, and is returning dividends to its owners - the Glen Innes Family Centre.

When managed by Envision, Resource Rescue won the inaugural 2016 Rotary Newmarket Kick-start Award for best new social enterprise. 

We're grateful to the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board for providing seed funding for the enterprise back in 2015, Waste Management for providing incubation space on their site in Penrose, and the Community Recycling Network for providing access to materials, encouragement and support.

Resource Rescue's successful video application for the 2016 Rotary Newmarket Kick-start Award run in conjunction with Ākina Foundation

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Bottle Deposits for NZ

Bottle Deposits for NZ

New Zealanders use around 2 billion plastic and glass beverage containers each year. Unfortunately, only 35 - 40% of these make it to recycling with the remainder heading to landfill, or becoming land or marine litter.  

Our 2015 report, The InCENTive to Recycle, looked at the effectiveness of bringing back bottle refunds (cash for containers) to lift recycling rates in New Zealand.

It found that such a scheme would only cost the beverage industry half a cent (0.5 cents) per container, but would increase beverage container recycling by 45,000 tonnes p.a. The move would create thousands of jobs and divert 180,000 cubic metres of waste from landfill - saving New Zealanders between $26 and $40 million dollars per year in waste disposal costs.

Since the report was published:

  • Over 90% of New Zealand's local authorities have voted in favour of advocating central government to implement its findings
  • A national public campaign, The Kiwi Bottle Drive, has emerged and supported numerous 'buy back events' throughout the country to demonstrate how the scheme would work and get public support   
Click image to download SUMMARY report (903kb)

Click image to download SUMMARY report (903kb)

Click image to download FULL report (3.6mb)

Click image to download FULL report (3.6mb)

 

No Six - social enterprise mentorship

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No Six - social enterprise mentorship

Thanks to the generous support of the Tāmaki Regeneration Company, Envision is mentoring a number of emerging social enterprises in the Auckland suburbs of Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure.

One of these is No Six which provides an opportunity for Tāmaki rangatahi to learn digital creation skills through working on commercial projects.

Contributors are nurtured and looked after while working under the No Six umbrella, and when the time is right, are encouraged to move on to developing their own projects under their own freelance brand. 

Matthew meets with co-founder, and manager, Tyrone Tangata-Makiri on a regular basis to challenge, support and provide advice as No Six goes through it's start up phase.

Click here to watch Tyrone explain what mentorship from Envision means for him >>>

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Recycle Right

Envision recruits and manages casual staff for a wide range of projects, including; waste audits, door-knocking campaigns, zero waste events.

To support Auckland Council's Recycle Right campaign we assembled a group of passionate, and energetic students studying for sustainability related qualifications. For over four weeks we'll had 13 staff partnering with Auckland Council Waste Wise Advisors to door knock and speak with householders across Auckland on how to Recycle Right! Check out the great ad for the campaign here.

First day on the job!

First day on the job!

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Enterprising Auckland

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Enterprising Auckland

Envision's report - Enterprising Auckland: A social enterprise approach to local economic development - aims to support the work of Auckland's Local Boards. It provides another approach to add to their tool bags as they seek to stimulate social enterprise within their communities.

Our thanks go to Billy Matheson from Auckland Council for commissioning the report and endless patience as we thrashed out various ideas and proceeded down some dead ends. We are also grateful to Bevin Fitzsimons from Breakthrough Strategies and Jamie Newth from Soul Capital for their support and input.

You can view or download the report by clicking the image to the right, but in the meantime here's the Executive Summary to wet your appetite...

Click on the image to download a copy of the report (3.7mb)

Click on the image to download a copy of the report (3.7mb)

Enterprising Auckland - Executive Summary

The potential for social enterprise to address some of New Zealand’s pressing social issues has long been understood, and there are an increasing number of fledgling social enterprises enthusiastic about contributing to this mission. However there also appears to be a ‘missing middle’ - the gap in funding and support that would allow the field to grow sufficiently to make significant inroads into solving some of the social problems we face nationally and locally. Additionally there seems to be no clear plan for getting around this gap.

The Community and Cultural Strategy Unit of Auckland Council commissioned this discussion document to address the missing middle and provide a model for Local Boards to foster social enterprise in their communities. The model proposed in this document is intended to compliment, and add to, the tools Local Boards already have available for advancing social enterprise in their communities rather than replace or superceed those methods.

The aim of the model is to stimulate innovative local solutions that will help build strong resilient local economies. It involves Auckland’s Local Boards taking a leadership role in identifying opportunities for social enterprise within their community. These may include providing goods and services to Council through social enterprises tendering for Council contracts, or maximising the social value of Council assets such as land and buildings through their use by social businesses.

The model proposed in this document is based on the following six steps:

1.     Identification of clear commercial opportunities that support the Local Board’s Plan

2.     Identification of an organisation, or collaboration of organisations, that could successfully exploit the opportunity while maximising social benefit

3.     Encouraging the creation of a purpose-built social enterprise that can realise that opportunity on behalf of the local community

4.     Supporting the resulting entity with seed, match or innovation funding

5.     Advocating for Council’s various business units to use a social procurement approach, opening the door for social enterprises to access Council contracts (procuring goods and services) and Council assets (land or buildings)

6.     Maintaining a watching brief and providing governance support as appropriate

The model involves actively brokering relationships, advocating for opportunities, and encouraging a competitive tender process that incorporates social or community outcomes. This brokering function can be undertaken by Local Boards themselves, by a skilled volunteer, or carried out by a professional agency.

The model was partly inspired by social enterprises that have established businesses in the waste sector in New Zealand. These groups have successfully set up a network of community recycling centres utilising a social enterprise model to divert waste, generate employment, and contribute to local economic development.

Learnings and experiences from this sector provided an initial framework for thinking about how to translate this success into other areas.

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Xtreme Zero Waste - Study Tour

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Xtreme Zero Waste - Study Tour

Designed to provide the perfect ending to the 2017 Waste MINZ conference, you are invited to join us on a study tour to the legendary Xtreme Zero Waste!

1pm - 5pm, Thursday 9th November 

$125 + gst p.p.

RSVP by 20th October by email: matthew@envision-nz.com or call: 09 303 4746

Xtreme Zero Waste is a community enterprise contracted to provide various waste services on behalf of Waikato District Council. As well as diverting up to 77% of material received on site, the operation is Raglan's second largest employer, and provides year round services to over 3000 residents year round, and the over 5000 holidaymakers that visit over summer.

Your tour will leave the Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre, Hamilton at 1pm, arriving at Xtreme Zero Waste around 1:45pm. Co-founder, Rick Thorpe, will explain Xtreme Zero Waste's mission and operation as he takes you around the site. On the tour you will see:

  • The brand new HCU built to process residential food waste
  • Reuse shop
  • Timber yard and upcycling workshop
  • Metal yard
  • Recyclable commodities drop off and processing areas
  • Residual waste drop off

After a cup of tea, we'll make our way back to Hamilton via the airport arriving there at approximately 5pm, and back at the Claudelands Centre soon after.

Spaces are limited to 10

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Study Tours

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Study Tours

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Waste and resource recovery is complex business, with new ideas constantly being explored and developed. It is also a generous industry with local authorities and operators eager to share their learnings to help the greater good.

Envision has been running study tours for over 14 years to help inspire and connect various individuals and organisations involved in resource recovery. The tours have proven to be fertile ground for networking, collaboration, and sharing ideas. 

With previous tours to South Australia, Waikato and Queenstown to Dunedin, Envision was particularly proud to host our most recent tour in our home town of Auckland.

Organised in partnership with Waste MINZ, 34 participants from around NZ and Australia spent two days visiting a range of community, council and commercial enterprises engaged in various aspects of Auckland's emerging Resource Recovery Network.

Click here for a summary of the 2017 Auckland RRN Study Tour >>>

On 30th July 2015 Envision NZ, with support from Auckland Council, took a group of almost 50 people to check out Xtreme Zero Waste in Raglan. Xtreme Zero Waste is a community recycling centre doing incredible things in their community and in resource recovery.

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Media

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Media

We think resource recovery and waste should make front page news every day! Here's some times when the media agreed with us, and members of the Envision team were part of the story.  

Radio New Zealand - Sept 2017

Radio New Zealand - Sept 2017

NZ Herald - Sept 2015

NZ Herald - Sept 2015

Listener - Nov 2016

Listener - Nov 2016

NZ Geographic - July 2015

NZ Geographic - July 2015

TV3 - Dec 2015

TV3 - Dec 2015

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Bottom of the South Resource Recovery Study Tour 7th - 9th November

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Bottom of the South Resource Recovery Study Tour 7th - 9th November

On Monday 7th November a bunch of 17 folk from around New Zealand gathered at the Queenstown Airport for Envision’s Bottom of the South Study Tour. The tour involved visiting a range of resource recovery facilities from Queenstown to Dunedin with an emphasis on community-led initiatives.

After a visit to Smart Environmental’s Materials Recovery Facility in Queenstown it was over the Crown Range and into a warm greeting from the Wanaka Wastebusters crew. Not only did they provide an in-depth tour of their facility but they also hosted a lake-side BBQ with incredible kai and refreshments. The next morning saw the group at Alexandra Wastebusters which has recovered extremely well from a very damaging fire and a quick stop at Moeraki Bolders before heading to the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park in Oamaru and another great tour from the crew there. The evening was spent watching the little blue penguins come ashore and discussions about all that had been seen. The final day was the busiest with visits to the Hampden Community Recycling Centre, Dunedin’s Green Island Landfill and finally a visit to the social venture, Foodshare (www.foodshare.org.nz).

Here’s some feedback from tour participants about what they found useful about the experience:

The networking, seeing how others have set up their sites, seeing how each of us add value in different ways, the possibilities we may not have thought of, machinery used in the processes, but most of all the people. Those we knew and had the opportunity to get to know better, those we met as part of the tour and the openness and generosity of our hosts at each site, sharing their experience and stories so openly to help others with their journey. We come away from it feeling inspired, reinvigorated and with new friends and contacts across the whole country. The value gained far exceeded the time and money spent. – Sue Wallis, Waiuku Zero Waste

The tour was superbly organised and jam-packed with a range of approaches to resource recovery and management profiled, from a volunteer operated reuse shop that serves a community of 500 people, to a landfill servicing a major city, with the whole range in between. While the programme was worthwhile for both those new to the game, and experts, the real value came from spending three days exploring the issues and ideas with my fellow tourists, the kind of networking that has the potential to develop into some exciting new projects and embedding best practice methodologies into existing ones. – Dorte Wray, CRN

Click here to read the Otago Daily Times article on the tour

 

 

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“So you think you can’t afford Auckland?” People Led Housing Breakfast Forum

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“So you think you can’t afford Auckland?” People Led Housing Breakfast Forum

Join us for breakfast and listen to Kate and Jacob Otter-Lowe talk about their journey from realising that two salaries don’t pay for a house in Auckland to the creation of Auckland Cohousing (ACG), a group working towards affordable, sustainable and people friendly housing.

Covered in presentation:

  • People led housing – what is it?
  • Why it will thrive in Auckland.
  • What’s next
  • How you can be involved.

After the presentation people can choose to stay on for a world café forum, where there will be chance to get your questions answered by some of the people leading this exciting new initiative.

Time: 7.30am for breakfast, coffee and networking

          8am Presentation and Q&A

          9-11am World Café Forum

Date: Thursday 22nd of September

Venue: Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn

Breakfast: coffee sponsored by Mojo. Purchase a yummy breakfast made by Claire Inwood catering for $7.

To register: event is free but you must register here to attend as places are limited.

Thanks to Mojo coffee who are sponsoring this event alongside Envision!

 

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Letter to 2016’s Auckland Mayoral candidates

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Letter to 2016’s Auckland Mayoral candidates

On the 6th July 2016 approximately 80 - 100 individuals from organisations interested in the development of community-led resource recovery and waste minimisation operations in Auckland met at AUT.

At that meeting Warren Snow drafted a letter to Auckland's Mayoral Candidates asking them for their support and commitment to the Zero Waste vision to make Auckland a world leader at growing a local zero waste economy and substantially reducing the current waste of materials, resources and energy.

Click here to download a copy of the letter

There are 15 mayoral candidates. Letters were either emailed or sent via Facebook to the following candidates: Penny Bright, Vic Crone, Phil Goff, David Hay, Alezix Heneti, John Palino, Chlöe Swarbrick & Mark Thomas

We were unable to find contact details for these candidates: Mario Alupis, Aileen Austin, Patrick Brown, Tricia Cheel, Adam Holland, Stan Martin, Bin Thanh Nguyen, Phil O'Connel, Tyrone Raumati, Wayne Young

As they come in we will post each candidate's response here so keep checking in.

Please note that Phil Goff and Vic Crone responded verbally at a Mayoral debate hosted on the North Shore by ANCAD on 8th September where Envision posed the question - "Council has a vision for Zero Waste by 2040 and the current WMMP promotes community-led initiatives as a key way of achieving that goal. Do you support this vision and if so will you champion innovative community-led approaches to achieving it?". Their answers are paraphrased below and an audio recording is available here

Vic Crone: Yes, absolutely I support it and let me talk to you about a community initiative that I really respect and admire and this is happening across Auckland. In Waimahia in South Auckland there is a NZ Housing Foundation initiative there that is providing affordable homes. That is a model that I love and when I talk about powering up community and social initiatives that is an example of it. That community has created a residents group and that group are actively pursuing these goals on their own without the need for Council to be in there telling them what to do or how to do it. So they have composting, recycling, they're planting lemon trees, nut trees, things like that for the community to enjoy...I believe that the community want to pursue that goal and Council should be here to support you and not stand in your way. Its probably quite clear by now that I don't believe in the old world model of the government dictating to you how you need to do everything. The government plays a macro role in this but there are some amazing initiatives in this space and Council's role is to get out of the way! There are some macro measures that Council needs to put in place but our ability to execute that will be 10x slower than anything (the community sector) can put in place.

Phil Goff: Yes I support the vision but it is one thing to have a vision and another to have the methods in place to achieve that vision...I have talked to Sir Robert Fenwick about this and he said 'frankly you've set the goal but you haven't set the pathway to achieving that goal'. He (Fenwick) feels we need to do a whole lot more about organics not going into landfill and I agree with that. There is another whole stream of waste we need to look at as well and it is called plastics. 90% of our seabirds have plastic in their intestines...In the UK they've put a 5p charge on plastic bags and they've reduced the usage of plastic bags by 85%...I think something like that if you really want to reduce the waste stream would be a very practical way of actually going about it.

David Hay: My vision for Auckland is: Cool Auckland - Carbon Zero by 2060, or sooner. You can regard that slogan as a "headline" for a broader range of matters including energy resilience and sustainability including, of course, waste minimisation. These are already encompassed in the council's Low Carbon Auckland Action Plan. I'm not intending to reinvent that plan, but to give it greater emphasis: making sustainability Auckland's "business as usual" way of doing things. You can see more about this on my website - click on the "sustainably cool" button.

John Palino: I think it is fantastic. When I put my plan together for the growth of Auckland I had looked at something much further than what council has and also any of the other candidates. My plan to build multiple city centres and a satellite city is about getting people to live, work and play in the same area. Reducing the need for not only personal transportation but even public transportation. If we build in this way we will create room for 300,000 people walking to work or having a very short trip on public transportation that would be of the utmost modern technology. The plan today of intensifying suburbs doesn't create the jobs in those neighbourhoods and only forces people to use their cars. I have attached my book for you and also a link to my new short movie on building Auckland and connecting us by a major transport spine. You can watch the movie on Facebook, you may need to stroll down a bit.

 

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