Young girl standing next to recycling bin Zero waste research and development project

Massey staff members involved

Jonathon Hannon, Coordinator of the Zero Waste Academy.

Other organisations involved in the project

Palmerston North City Council.

Project description

The Palmerston North City Council and Massey University have partnered in the formation of the Zero Waste Academy, an educational, research and development and advisory initiative focussed on waste minimisation/resource efficiency. Locally, this has resulted in a growing programme of research initiatives which aim to provide information to support the City’s policy development and programme implementation. The concept is that firstly, the City maintains a ‘research menu’ of areas of issue and opportunity, and secondly, the University will seek to align and supervise student projects which address these. This construct is a win-win for both the City (generating new and tightly focussed research and development that meets their needs) and for staff and students (connecting student learning to ‘real world’ challenges and professional practice). [NB: potentially this ‘living labs’ model can also be applied to campus sustainability]. Some project examples are:

  • Recycling machine in action ‘Enhancing waste and recycling infrastructure at the Massey University-Turitea Campus-Palmerston North’ (Masters project).
  • Rural and remote area recycling project (INR summer scholarship project completed 2012).
  • City ‘organic recycling’ master planning project (business model/operational analysis, technology appraisal). 
  • Enabling product stewardship in local communities: Case studies covering nine special waste types.
  • Exploring glass contamination issues: Development of recommended collection and processing changes.   
  • Fergusson St recycling depot ‘user survey’ (methodology, question design, data analysis/discussion). 
  • Local second hand/used goods recycling sector survey (information feedstock for the WMMP process).
  • Exploring innovations in household curbside recycling contamination/composition survey methods (objective to reduce processing costs and enhanced programme returns).
  • Recycling behaviour change/social marketing/recycling communications project design. 
  • ‘Sustainable City’ business survey/commercial sector waste and resource audit (‘industrial ecology’ methodology, question/survey design and implementation).

Project timeframe

Ongoing.

Recycled cans

 

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