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Published: 2004-11-16 00:00:00

Representatives of the Ministry for the Environment saw the Waikato’s Waste Exchange in Action today on a visit to Te Rapa animal diagnostics laboratory Gribble’s Alpha.

The company uses the Waste Exchange – a free database of industrial and business waste – to recycle unwanted chemicals for schools to re-use. The Exchange, sponsored by Environment Waikato and several district councils, finds new uses for unwanted business waste to avoid disposing of waste to landfills.

It recycles tonnes of waste products from packaging and carpet cores to chemicals and animal food to be re-used by other industries.

Laboratory technician and project co-ordinator Jo Day said the company has also found new homes for 10 computer monitors as well as large amounts of obsolete chemicals which would otherwise have had to be disposed of in landfills. The company also uses waste drums it gets from the Waste Exchange to transport old chemicals which can’t be re-used for safe disposal.

“We always try the Waste Exchange first if we need to dispose of anything and it feels good to know that these items have a use for someone else. We also use a worm farm and a compost bin to make the most of our waste products.”

The Ministry was in town this week for a series of road shows in 14 centres for both the public and local authorities to find out more about people’s environmental concerns.