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Published: 2005-07-07 00:00:00

The Environment Waikato-sponsored Waste Exchange has won a prestigious award in this month’s Westpac Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

The free waste database exchange service won the Community Organisation Award, which recognises management excellence in organisations outside the private sector, not for profit, schools and local government businesses.

The Waste Exchange is a free service helping business to find alternatives to disposal of their wastes. Businesses register waste products with the Exchange which are picked up by other organisations finding a use for the products. The number of businesses joining the Waikato and Bay of Plenty’s Waste Exchange grew by about 63 percent over the last year.

Co-ordinator Pippa Russell said the service was a leader in its field.  The system worked well and the customer service businesses received was excellent. The idea had been adopted in the Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne and Auckland Regions, with negotiations for other areas including Wellington in the pipeline.

Ms Russell said running the Waste Exchange was very cost effective, equating to only about $4 a tonne of waste diverted from landfill, compared with a $60 to $90 a tonne cost for disposing of waste to landfill, she said.