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Z Kilbirnie crowned Waste Warriors

26/01/2021 - Sustainability news

At Z we’re on mission to more with less. That means we deliver what matters for a moving world whilst contributing towards the welfare of New Zealand's natural environment and its people.

Our Waste Warriors competition is run at the end of each year in a bid to find and crown our network’s waste champions. The two-month competition challenges sites to work within their teams alongside suppliers and customers to reduce their waste. This year’s competition saw some of our staff take waste to new heights with some incredible creativity in showing off their upcycling skills and making site decorations from cardboard, paper and bottle caps!

The overall winner was Z Kilbirnie! The site diverted 94% of waste from landfill during the competition, had high engagement scores across all activities and joined their Retailer on a visit to Flight Plastics, one of New Zealand’s few onshore plastic recycling plants, to understand just what happens to that plastic you put in your recycling bin. This was an eye-opening experience for the team, “there is so much contamination from people not emptying their drink bottles before putting them in the recycling bin. This makes it really hard for the recycler to use the plastic and so it can end up not being recycled at all” observed one team member, “always empty and rinse your plastic before recycling!”

68 sites took part this year and collectively diverted nearly 70% of all their waste from landfill. The competition ran through NZ’s ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign and so a huge effort was made to reduce food waste on site through careful planning, using bake sheets and monitoring food sales throughout the month. This resulted in 22% reduction in food waste compared to last year. Eight tonnes of the remaining food waste including unsold sandwiches, pies and coffee grounds were composted.

Z’s Sustainability Champion Camilla Read says: “The determination each site has to make a difference to their local community is inspiring. They look beyond their own sites, joining community waste pick-up groups and engaging with local schools and hospices to repurpose reading materials. Their collective impact makes a huge impact and encourages others to get involved.”

Competition runners up were Z Queenstown, Z Rutherford, Z Richmond and Z Bryndwr – so be sure to give them a congratulations if you’re in the area … and don’t forget your BYO cup for your Z Espress discount.

Check out what else you can do to join Z and do more with less

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