Waste Not Wasted - the Science of Waste at Kate Valley

Projects and programmes New Zealand (nationwide)

Posted: 19 September 2019
Notice reference #: 1H9ydr

Did you know that we in New Zealand dispose of enough waste to fill a rugby field 30 stories high every month – even though over half of the rubbish we dispose of can be recycled or composted? It's the choices we make that determine how much waste goes to landfills. But how much waste is actually 'wasted'?

On this field trip, you will investigate how science and technology is being used to give new life to waste at a modern engineered landfill. You will see how methane from decomposing waste is captured rather than being emitted into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. You will follow the methane journey to onsite turbines where it is used to generate significant amounts of electricity that goes into the National Grid. Some of this electricity is used for e-vehicles including kerbside waste collection trucks. You will also take a big picture view of the Kate Valley landfill in the community with associated conservation projects, recreation spaces and water quality management.

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • What is waste?
  • The 5 Rs' of waste management – reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, residual management
  • Recycling and plastics – organics and non-organics
  • What happens to waste?
  • The carbon cycle
  • Decomposition, leachate, carbon dioxide and methane gas Biodigesters
  • Valuable waste
  • Collecting methane gas to generate electricity
  • Electric vehicles
  • What is a landfill?
  • Special liners in modern landfills
  • The environment, water quality and modern engineered landfills
  • Community projects from landfill projects.

Events summary

New Zealand (nationwide)

05 November 2019 – 07 November 2019

Further information

Contact: Barrie Matthews

 (027) 223 0342