Sustainable environment

Charting a greener course: Reducing waste at our marina

Minimising our environmental footprint is imperative for marinas, given the substantial waste generated by boating activities. In our ongoing pursuit of sustainability, waste reduction has emerged as a central focus at our marina.

Recently, the Westhaven team embarked on educational visits to two waste facilities – Green Gorilla’s state-of-the-art waste recycling centre and sorting facility, and Redvale Landfill and Energy Park. These excursions provided valuable insights into Auckland's waste management landscape, shedding light on the journey of our city's waste. As these facilities collectively handle half of Auckland's total waste, our goal was to deepen our understanding of the downstream processes. This knowledge is fundamental as we endeavour to steer our marina towards a more sustainable future.

Things we learnt from our visits:

  • Understanding the distinction between organic and synthetic materials is central to comprehending downstream processes. While organic waste naturally decomposes, synthetic materials contribute to environmental harm. Advocating for conscientious consumption, particularly in packaging and clothing choices, and embracing regenerative and reusable materials, aligns with our sustainability goals. Avoiding plastics with finite recycling lifespans and exploring alternatives like bioplastics are steps toward waste reduction.
  • Cardboard is sorted by hand, usually by four-six people picking up larger pieces off a fast-moving conveyor belt. This means that small bits don’t get captured, so a good tip is to collect your smaller bits of cardboard in a larger box or envelope that is far more likely to get picked up and recycled.
  • Small pieces of foil etc don’t have enough mass to be picked up by the magnetic sorter. Collecting small bits of metal inside a can means they hitch a ride with the can and are more likely to get recycled.
  • Questioning the lifecycle of products we buy is essential. Knowing what happens next guides us towards more sustainable choices.

We recognise that we cannot achieve our vision alone. We call upon every member of our marina community to join us in this journey towards waste reduction. To catalyse change, practical initiatives such as waste bin audits and reduction targets are underway.

Internal audit findings to date:

Recent audits have revealed the following items improperly disposed of in the marina bins:

  • Gas bottles
  • Batteries or items containing batteries
  • Hazardous waste/toxic chemicals (including old fuel, paint, thinners, etc)
  • Oversized items, including:
    • Household appliances (fridges, cookers, etc)
    • Old squabs/cushions
    • Furniture (office chairs, garden furniture, etc)
    • Old boat toilets
    • Garden waste
    • Building waste (windows and doors, etc)

We kindly request that marina users refrain from disposing of these items in the marina bins. Please contact your local refuse centre for proper disposal options.

We invite you to partner with us in championing practical solutions and fostering a community ethos centred on sustainability. Let's pave the way towards a greener, more sustainable future for our marina and beyond. Together, we can make a meaningful difference.