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A Government grant of $2.6 million is to be provided to the Hurunui and Kaikōura districts to repair waste facilities, recycle earthquake debris and manage hazardous waste, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith said today in Waiau.

“An important part of the earthquake recovery is the careful management of the thousands of tonnes of additional waste, particularly hazardous materials. The demolition and rebuild work needs to be done at pace but we also need to manage the waste properly so we do not create environmental and health problems now and into the future,” Dr Smith says.

“This grant is to help the councils rebuild their waste facilities, recycle as much as possible of the huge increase in waste and to put in place effective measures to carefully manage hazardous waste like asbestos.”

The Kaikōura-Hurunui Earthquake Recovery Waste Project will receive $2.636m in a special grant from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund administered by the Ministry for the Environment. The special grant is being made outside of the normal annual funding round because of the urgency and advocacy of the local councils and MP Stuart Smith, who wrote to the Minister with concerns about the waste problem.

Funding of $1.606m will go to Environment Canterbury for hazardous substance management, particularly asbestos, $360,000 to Hurunui district for infrastructure repairs and case management, and $670,000 to Kaikōura district for asbestos management, infrastructure repairs and increased recycling support.

“This funding will support repair and expansion of the resource recovery parks at Amberley, Waiau, Hanmer and Kaikōura. We want to recover as much as possible of the reusable materials, such as bricks, tiles, timber and hardfill. There is also the opportunity to reuse building components like windows and doors from homes being demolished for ones that are being rebuilt so as to maintain their character and heritage,” Dr Smith says.

“This project and grant is also about ensuring effective management of hazardous waste like fluorescent lights, old chemicals and asbestos. There is a particular focus on asbestos because an estimated 237 buildings are likely to contain the hazardous substance. This funding will help survey buildings, provide advice to owners on safe demolition and provide two permanent and two mobile hazardous waste facilities.

“This waste minimisation project is an important additional component of the Government’s wide ranging support to the Kaikōura and Hurunui community in response to November’s devastating earthquake. It is about ensuring we care for the environment as well as the people, housing and infrastructure.”

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