24 May 2021

Take your skis and rubbish with you - Wanaka skifields go landfill-free

From Checkpoint, 5:27 pm on 24 May 2021

Wanaka skifields are dumping their rubbish bins. This season, skiers will have to take their wrappers, food bags and waste off the slopes with them. 

There will be recycling and compost bins instead on Cardrona and Treble Cone, when they open for business next month. 

Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone operations manager Ewan Mackie told Checkpoint more than 50 tonnes of waste was taken off from both mountains last year, with some of it being packaging but the vast majority from people's lunches.

Mackie said they encouraged people to bring packed lunches but did ask people to take with them the rubbish from their lunch too.

"Of course anything that can be recycled or composted, we will gladly accept and look after. So that orange peel, perfect, we'll take that into our food scraps bin.

"Our food scraps, organic waste and any other compostable packaging - which we're seeing more and more of now - we divert out and that goes either to our local chicken free-range farm or we have our composting facility down at the bottom of our mountain.

"We compost the packaging and we compost the organic waste and we put it on our native plants." 

He said they had been working with suppliers to design out waste from the products at their cafes. 

"So you actually cannot buy something from any of our cafes ... that needs to go to landfill."

They had also managed to keep the prices the same despite the changes to products.

"Everyone's got a piece of action in this game and it's been wonderful," Mackie said.

Visitors are also being encouraged to car pool or take a free shuttle up the mountain to cut emissions.

Mackie said they had increased the number and frequency of shuttles going up the mountain.

On average, daily car trips on Cardrona last year reached 1100 but they were looking to reduce it to 800.

A survey in 2019 also showed 75 percent of people said they would support preferential parking for 'full vehicles', which they deemed to include three people at least.