Boaties are being urged to consider waste disposal when visiting Aotea / Great Barrier Island after new measures were introduced for the popular destination.
More than 1000 people visit Great Barrier each day during the summer months, a number in excess of the permanent population on the island. This puts a strain on the island's infrastructure and if current waste volumes are not significantly reduced, landfill might reach capacity before 2027 when the island's only landfill area is consented until.
Returning visitors to the island or boaties, for whom the Barrier is an annual destination, will notice some changes to waste services. Aotea / Great Barrier local board chair Izzy Fordham says some of the changes are radical, but necessary, and to support the island’s goal of zero waste to landfill by 2040.
For boaties, the best option is to take your waste away with you when you leave and dispose of it once you are back on the mainland.
However, if you do need to dispose of waste while moored off Aotea / Great Barrier Island, a new user-pays, land-based waste dropoff service will be open at Port Fitzroy wharf from December 21-February 1. It will be staffed from 10am-3pm, Tuesday to Saturday, but will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For details on how the service will operate, visit makethemostofwaste.co.nz.
The floating summer waste barge service that used to be moored north of Smokehouse Bay near Port Fitzroy is no longer operating. All public litter bins, as well as the waste dropoff stations at Port Fitzroy, Whangaparapara, Tryphena / Shoal Bay and outside the Claris Landfill, have also closed.
The Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board are also encouraging boaties to ensure their boats have clean hulls before visiting the island.
If boat owners clean their hulls while moored around the island, there is the potential to dislodge and spread both contaminants, such as heavy metals, and marine pests. These pose major risks to Aotea’s pristine marine environment.
For short-stay visitors arriving by plane or ferry, the best thing to do is to pack in and pack out. Bring minimal single-use packaging with you and take your waste home to dispose of it, where possible.
Holidaymakers staying in accommodation, where the owner pays a waste charge, will be able to use council roadside collection services for rubbish and recycling. Visitors staying in other accommodation can buy council 60-litre rubbish bags from the Claris service centre or local stores around the island.
Visitors can also drop off waste, including recyclable household containers or unwanted items, to the Aotea Community Recycling Centre or the Claris Landfill.
For further details on all council waste services, including opening times, costs, and how they work, visit makethemostofwaste.co.nz.
If you see waste illegally dumped in public places, call Auckland Council’s illegal dumping hotline, 0800 NO DUMP (0800 663 867) which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to report it. Eyewitness reports or camera footage may provide Auckland Council with enough evidence to issue a litter infringement notice, which carries a fine of up to $400.