NZ Waste Management Fund chooses cement kilns over recycling projects
Tyre Recycling Proposal Rejected for Funding
New Zealand businesses are questioning the aims of the Waste Minimisation Fund after multiple refusals for green projects. In the tyre sector, Chris Copplestone got no backing from the Waste Minimisation Fund, for a tyre recycling system that in trials recovered 99 per cent of the materials.
It was hard to know if applicants faced a level playing field, Copplestone said.
"They [the Fund] don't engage with you, unless they have chosen you."
Instead, $16 million went towards a $25m project in which Fletcher Building subsidiary Golden Bay Cement for burning up to 60 per cent of the country's waste tyres at its kiln.
"It will be the first-time end-of-life tyres have been used for fuel in New Zealand," Golden Bay Cement said.
But for Copplestone, an inventor and director of the Growing Group, this showed the fund played it too safe. It might even be said that by focusing on tyre derived fuel the Waste Management Fund has been short sighted and has opted for the quickest high-volume solution, rather than looking for added value circular solutions.
"It does appear to me that it is simply a fund that is more targeted at big companies rather than targeted at innovative solutions," he said.
"My guess is the government is so scared of giving an award to a company which then falls over and them being politically blamed."