Recovery taskforce recognised for clean-up effort

Friday 14 Jun 2024

Hawke’s Bay’s Silt Recovery Taskforce has been recognised by New Zealand’s waste minimisation body for its sustainable approach to clean up silt and debris after Cyclone Gabrielle. The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) and Hastings District Council (HDC) initiative received the ‘Most Sustainable/ Innovative Waste Disposal Initiative’ award at last week’s WasteMINZ conference in Hamilton.
The Government-funded Taskforce has collaborated with a number of organisations to re-purpose, re-use or recycle materials collected from productive land impacted by flooding. Silt has been used to level out or elevate sites, woody debris has been mulched, composted, or chipped for road cover, damaged orchard posts have been repurposed by Repost into 90kms of farm fencing, and tyres and water tanks shredded and recycled.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chair, Hinewai Ormsby said that through collaboration between the two councils and a range of local organisations, the Taskforce has been able to take a leadership role in the region’s recovery. “By working alongside impacted communities, championing community clean-up days and finding innovative solutions, the Taskforce has demonstrated that, even in the wake of a disaster like Cyclone Gabrielle, a sustainable approach to waste management is possible,” said Chair Ormsby.

Hastings Mayor, Sandra Hazlehurst said about 2.76 million tonnes of flood waste has so far been separated and removed from more than 800 affected properties. “From the start, the Taskforce has been committed to diverting as much away from landfill as possible, which has not only reduced the burden on the landfill, but has kept costs down, while creating materials that have helped others in our community as our region recovers,” said the Mayor.
Taskforce lead, Darren de Klerk collected the award alongside HDC and HBRC staff who have worked with the taskforce and says the calibre of entries was outstanding. “We were so proud to have the efforts of all the contractors and locals that have helped achieve this sustainable approach recognised on a national stage,” he said.
The Taskforce aims to complete all silt collections by the end of July, and collection sites fully de-commissioned by the end of 2024.

Source and image credit: Inside Government

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