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Major increase in recycling capabilities

Media Release

7 April, 2008

Major increase in recycling capabilities

Waitakere has taken a major step forward in reducing solid waste, with a new deal which means that all plastics numbered 1 through 7, can now be recycled.

This covers most household plastic containers and packaging (although householders need to check the number shown on containers).

This move could represent quite significant savings because nearly 13% of the refuse in the user-pays, grey bags at the moment, is plastic containers.

So, instead of filling up the grey bag at a cost, householders will be able to toss them in the blue and yellow recycling bin for free.

The council is able to take this step after receiving a written warranty that the plastics will only be recycled. In the past, at least some plastics were sent to China and burned – adding to greenhouse gases.

“Obviously we couldn’t agree to that,” says Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey.

“Dumping them in a refuse tip is bad enough from an environment point of view. Burning them was unthinkable when the world is struggling to come back from the brink of a global warming catastrophe.

“The new arrangement gives us a win win: we reduce landfill and don’t add to the carbon in the atmosphere,” he says.

“Of course, we’d prefer to see the use of plastics reduced still further and there were some very good examples of replacement products made from vegetable starch, at the recent Pacific Trade Expo in the city. But this is a good start,” Mayor Harvey says.

Nearly 3,000 tonnes of plastics will be recovered under the new arrangement.

ENDS

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