Full kerbside collections will start again next Monday, but with a change in plastic recycling.
At its meeting today the Council reluctantly decided to stop the collection of plastics 3 to 7, for the time being at least.
Temporary solution to a global problem
Mayor Toby Adams says the change to collecting only plastic types 1 and 2, which include things like milk and soft drink bottles, has nothing to do Covid 19 but is a temporary solution to a global problem.
“In January 2018, China stopped recycling plastics from other countries. At the time they were processing about half the plastic waste in the world,” he said.
“We kept collecting and stockpiling our plastics in the hope another market would be found, but unfortunately no feasible market for plastics 3 to 7 has been found, and the stockpiles will now be sent to landfill.”
Majority of plastic collected is types 1 and 2
All plastics are collected together and as it’s not practical to separate 1's and 2's, to keep recycling these plastics we have to stop collecting plastic types 3 to 7. A small silver lining is that the majority of plastic currently collected is types 1 and 2.
We're not giving up on problem plastics
“We collect a lot more milk bottles and other 1 and 2 type plastics than anything else, so most plastic will still be recycled,” the Mayor said.
“But we’re not giving up on this problem. We support WasteMINZ who are lobbying the Government to ban the use of plastics 3 to 7, and we’re actively looking for alternative solutions.”
Important to keep 3-7 out of recycling bin
In the meantime, he says it’s important people don’t `wishcycle’ by putting plastic types 3 to 7 in their wheelie bins.
“If you do this it will contaminate the entire load and everything will have to go to landfill, including plastics 1 and 2. We’ll start checking bins from early June to see how things are going, and from 15 June we’ll stop emptying bins that contain plastics other than types 1 and 2,” the Mayor said.
What can go in your recycling bin?
Items that can go in your recycling wheelie bin are:
- Plastics 1 and 2
Kerbside rubbish and recycling collections in Level 2
Normal kerbside collections with yellow Council bags, recycling in wheelie bins and glass in crates will start again from Monday 18 May, but we'll only take plastic types 1 and 2 in wheelie bins and at our refuse transfer stations.
- Plastics 1 and 2 include things like milk and soft drink bottles
- Look for the number on the bottom of the plastic.
- Many things made of plastic have a triangle made of arrows with a number inside it. That number is the type of plastic.
- If there’s a 1 or 2 inside the triangle, rinse it out and put it in your wheelie bin for collection. Discard the lid in your normal rubbish.
- Any plastic that doesn’t have a 1 or 2 on it should go into the rubbish.
Until 15 June all recycling except glass will be going to landfill while the sorting centre in Kopu gets back up and running. This includes all recycling left at Council Refuse Transfer Stations.
18 May - Week 1 recycling week
18 May is the beginning of Week 1 of Council’s fortnightly recycling schedule. Yellow Council rubbish bags will be collected every week. View the kerbside collection calendar.
Refuse Transfer Stations
The Paeroa Refuse Transfer Station reopened on 2 May with some safety measures in place. View the opening hours.
Waihi Refuse Transfer Station will remain closed for major upgrades. At Waihi, a skip bin will still be available every Thursday from 12.30 to 4pm inside the gate for yellow council bagged rubbish and recycling. A glass bottle bank is also available at these times. All recycling left at Council Refuse Transfer Stations will go to landfill until the sorting centre in Kopu gets back up and running on 15 June.