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A waste audit at Te Puna Mātauranga has found about 80 % of rubbish collected over a week could have been diverted from landfill.

The audit was conducted by zero waste organisation Para Kore with volunteers from Te Puna Mātauranga helping sort the rubbish into one of 17 different categories.

By far the largest category was dirty paper, which was largely made up of used paper handtowels.

About 120 litres of food waste was collected, along with piles of glass and plastic bottles, recyclable paper and plastic, non-recyclable plastic, aluminium and steel cans and single use coffee cups.

SME Wellbeing Pua Moe Awa Phillips says the audit aimed to help Te Puna Mātauranga kaimahi learn about other options for waste, rather than just throwing it in rubbish bins.

“We should be mindful about what we put into landfill so we want to educate staff in the organisation about other options,” she says.

Waste audits had already been held at Māngere and Raroera and Pua says that has given a good idea of how much waste the organisation produces.

The audit also supported the Environmental Policy which Pua says will have waste minimisation as a focus across the entire organisation.

Rubbish bins will be removed from offices, replaced by individual kōnae which each person would be responsible for.

Para Kore general manager Jacqui Forbes says improving waste management involved changing behaviour.

“We want to see, sort, separate and waste reduction become the norm at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa,” she says.

Along with the environmental benefits, crating less waste also had financial benefits.

“We really need to do things better for our tamariki and mokopuna.”

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