WELLINGTON, May 18 (Xinhua) -- A facility to recycle tyres and a project to reuse old photocopier toner are getting off the ground with support from the Waste Minimization Fund, New Zealand's Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said on Friday.
"These projects take waste that would have gone to landfills and use it for something useful. They are great examples of what needs to happen more in New Zealand," Sage told an opening ceremony of Waste Management NZ's new tyre recycling facility in Auckland.
Receiving 3.85 million NZ dollars (2.66 million U.S. dollars) from the fund, the Auckland facility will be able to process 15,000 tons of end-of-life tyres in the first 24 months and reach full capacity of 30,000 tons or around three million passenger tyres per annum after 36 months.
This represents more than half of the approximately five million tyres that can no longer be used on vehicles in New Zealand each year, Sage said, adding that end of life tyres is a serious waste challenge in New Zealand.
"New Zealand needs to join countries around the world in shifting to a circular economy, where we can deconstruct all of the products we make to their component parts, and then reuse, recycle or return them to nature," she said.
Sage also announced 38,000 NZ dollars in funding for Fuji Xerox, to test the feasibility of using photocopier waste toner in the construction of roads as a substitute for bitumen.
Meanwhile, she announced the reaccreditation of the Glass Packaging Forum's product stewardship scheme, which connects businesses that sell glass-packaged consumer goods with those that collect and recycle glass.