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Wellington to help lead recycling revolution

Wellington to help lead recycling revolution

Up to 80 recycling bins are to be located in busy parts of central Wellington by the City Council as part of an initiative, funded by the Ministry for the Environment, announced today.

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced funding for four three-year trials of the Recycling in Public Places initiative, which aims to make recycling when out and about easier for Kiwis and tourists.

Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon says the bins – similar to the distinctive rubbish bins that have appeared around the city in recent years, but with a green panel – are designed to encourage people to “recycle even when they’re just walking down the street or out and about, having fun”.

Mr McKinnon is pleased Wellington is one of the four areas to be chosen for the pilot.

“A key goal for the Council is encouraging sustainable behaviour across a range of areas including waste reduction. The Council’s goal is for residents and visitors to feel motivated and positive about sustainable behaviour.

“Public-place recycling gives people an easy way to contribute to making Wellington a sustainable city.”

According to Council surveys, Wellington residents are committed recyclers with around 85% using kerbside recycling systems. So Wellingtonians are already used to separating their waste for recycling - and public-place recycling will allow residents and visitors to continue that behaviour while outside of the home.

The Far North District Council, Kaikoura District Council and Christchurch City Council are the other authorities to receive government support to set up recycling bins in places such as town centres and beaches.

The project will focus on recovering glass, plastic and metal containers but there will also be paper recycling bins located in strategic areas. The Council’s aims for the project are to:

  • facilitate sustainable behaviour change for residents and visitors

  • reduce waste to landfill

  • add to Wellington’s and New Zealand’s ‘clean and green’ image.

The Council will locate up to 80 recycling bins across the following key pedestrian and tourist areas:

  • Oriental Parade

  • Courtenay Place

  • Manners Mall

  • Cuba Street

  • Civic Square

  • Willis Street

  • Lambton Quay

  • Midland Park

  • Featherston Street

  • Molesworth Street

  • Dixon Street

  • Railway Station

  • Mt Victoria lookout

  • Manners Street

The recycling bins will be installed in stages so areas can be trialled for their effectiveness. The numbers of bins installed may fluctuate slightly as the Council analyses the effectiveness of the pilot.

A modification of the existing litter bin design will be used for public-place recycling bins. Both the litter bins and recycling bins have a volume of 60 litres. The recycling bins will be labelled with the recycling category advice and the nationally consistent branding to provide visual identity for the initiative. The recycling bins will be co-located with litter bins to avoid problems with pedestrians using the recycling bins for litter disposal.

Environment Portfolio leader Councillor Celia Wade-Brown says by providing the public with choices for both litter and recycling receptacles, the Council can ensure minimal litter contamination in public place recycling bins and ensure that the public understands the difference between the recycling and litter bins.

“These bins are sure to encourage people to be environmentally friendly in the city and at home. Even that small percentage who don’t currently recycle at home may be encouraged to change their behaviour through this initiative,” she says.

The Council will also trial paper recycling bins in strategic locations.

The collection of materials from public recycling bins will be an extension of the kerbside recycling service.

The trial will be closely monitored and then reviewed in 2009/10. The Council will conduct ongoing contamination sampling to ensure the recycling bins are being used properly. If contamination rates are too high (over 10%), the Council will look to increase public awareness to ensure the public properly separates waste.


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