Waikare Oyster Farmers – Waste Minimisation
There is an estimated 25,600m³ (6,400 tonnes) of waste oyster shell and 270m3 (297 tonnes) of waste timber in the Waikare Inlet, in the Bay of Islands. This waste covers a total area of 30 ha. The build-up of waste has occurred over the last decade because the oyster farms were closed due to an outbreak of norovirus. Recent upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant in Kawakawa have improved the water quality in the Waikare Inlet and so the oyster farms are now open for business. Today, the oyster farms have so much waste timber and oyster shell that they have to clean it up before new harvesting areas can be built.
The project has a combination of Champions the major parties being: Northland Regional Council, Waikare Oyster Farmers, Ministry of Fisheries, Far North District Council, Ngati Manu, Aquaculture NZ, Hopper Developments and various Industry groups.
Under the Waste Minimisation project, Enterprise Northland will contract a local company to recover waste timber and shells from oyster farm site and recycle it rather than dispose of it to landfill.
Waste minimisation will facilitate the development of a land reclamation site and its subsequent fit-out as a shore base for the final processing and storage of waste material prior to sale and transport.
The shell is a high quality grade product. The reuse, recycling and recover of oyster shell waste could be undertaken across the country.
The oyster industry will continue to reuse, recycle and recover the oyster shells as part of the re-establishing of the business. This could potentially create a zero-waste industry.
Enterprise Northland fully supports this project as the economic development potential of it is high and fits its objectives for developing Northland's economy, particularly in the Far North. The aquaculture industry in Northland is expected to be worth $216M per year and employ 2821 FTEs (Enveco, 2010).
General Manager, Enterprise Northland
Dr Jacquie Reed
Aquaculture Business Manager, Enterprise Northland
Financial Administration, Enterprise Northland
Vision & Goals
1. To recover and recycle as mulch an estimated 297 tonnes of oyster farm timber waste in the Waikare Inlet, within 6 months of Waste Minimisation funding being approved.
2. To recover and recycle approximately 6,400 tonnes of waste shells from oyster farms in the Waikare Inlet during three years of Waste Minimisation funding, for use in cement, lime, and other potential products.
3. To establish during three years of Waste Minimisation funding a sustainable operation which will continue to remove waste shell from the Inlet and other oyster farm sites (e.g. the Kaipara Harbour) after the Waste Minimisation Fund has been expended
4. To promote and raise the profile of this innovative waste minimisation project.