Grey Lynn Farmers Market has set the goal of becoming a Zero Waste Market.
What is Zero Waste?
At a high level Zero waste is a ‘whole systems’ approach that requires a rethink of how materials flow through our society, and a redesign of those systems to minimise material requirements and maximise material utilisation. Zero waste takes nature as its starting point, where there is no waste, because what is surplus to one part of the system inevitably becomes food or fuel for another part of the system. Zero waste envisages a society where material is constantly cycled through different systems, adding value at each point in the cycle. In the context of the GLFM therefore, a zero waste approach aims to ‘design out’ waste from the system. It is not just about managing waste that is created, but about continually seeking to improve the management of material flows so that eventually there are no materials used at the GLFM that do not have further beneficial use. A ‘zero waste’ market is a market run according to this zero waste philosophy, rather than a market from which there is not a single scrap of rubbish produced.A zero waste approach has implications for virtually all aspects of how the market is managed from the types of stallholders on site, their procurement of materials, education and communication, through to waste collection, processing and monitoring.
Reuse Depot at the Market
The aim of the resource exchange table is to avoid things going to landfill that other community members would like to reuse. At the table next to the Waste Away stand you can bring and/or take away:
- clean glass jars and lids
- plastic and reusable bags
- egg cartons
- seedling trays
The Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away group have a bright pink wheelie bin located at the reuse depot at Market to support Project Uplift collecting old bras for women in the Pacific. Read more here
Batteries are toxic waste and should not go in the landfill. The Waste Away stand has a battery collection box. A donation is appreciated to cover the cost of disposal.
Compost collection at the market
We want organic waste from the market to become plant food rather than landfill. This is typically waste which has originated from plant or animal sources that may be broken down by other living organisms. We are working with our stallholders to help them change over from plastic to compostable or recyclable packaging. While some compostable packaging is suitable for your home compost, most of it needs to go to an industrial hot compost to break down properly. We’ve arranged a collection service for the things that need to go to an industrial compost Envirofert with We Compost. This includes all food scraps, all serving ware bought at the market including smoothie cups and straws, coffee cups and lids, compostable plates, napkins and utensils etc.
A 120ltr compost bin is located at the entrance to the hall.
We have a recycling bin for paper, cans, glass bottles and plastics located along side the compost bin, at the front entrance to the farmers market hall facing the street. The bin will take all general recyclable material.
This includes: Plastics (all plastics codes 1 – 7, milk bottles, juice and cream containers)
Aluminum & steel (such as empty steel cans, soft drink cans, aluminum foil), Glass.
Note that soiled plastic and paper will not get recycled. There is no magic fairies at the dump who sort and clean this stuff.
This is anything that cannot be recycled or composted including soiled non compostable packaging from shops outside the market, wrappers. There should be minimal landfill at the end of the market.
Many of our stallholders are working very hard to reduce waste on their stalls. Most of Fresh Gardens’ produce is not pre-packaged so you can bring in your own bags or containers- and if you do take one of their plastic bags, they accept these for re-use or return. George’s Garden has switched from plastic bags to paper bags, bundling veggies in re-usable rubber bands instead of plastic bags, and packaging strawberries in cardboard boxes rather than plastic. Tikapa Moana has biodegradable bags if you forget to bring your own.
We welcome your ideas, questions, and comments. Come chat to Dave at the information table or the Waste-Away table at the market if you’re keen to know more!