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Go to town with your recycling

18 April 2008

Go to town with your recycling

Recycling bins are popping up around the central city thanks to the help of Wellington City Council and the Ministry for the Environment. Wellington has been chosen to pilot the recycling scheme along with three other councils: Kaikoura, Christchurch and Far North.

The bins, which can be used to recycle drink containers, are being installed in stages, with a trial of up to 25 bins going into Willis Street, Lambton Quay, The Terrace and the Railway Station.

The Council’s Environment Portfolio Leader, Councillor Celia Wade-Brown says the bins will encourage recycling in public, making it easy and convenient for people to recycle while they are out and about.

“We hope this will persuade people to be environmentally friendly in the city and at home. Even that small percentage who don’t recycle at home may be encouraged to change their behaviour through this initiative,” she says.

A modification of the existing litter bin design has been used for the public-place recycling bins. They are clearly labelled so you know what you can recycle and are easily identifiable by their bright green colour and the ‘Love NZ’ branding.

The following drink containers can be placed in the bins for recycling: aluminium cans, glass and plastic bottles. Paper, cardboard, plastic containers or bags, or anything containing food should not be placed in the bins. Food contaminates recycling material and prevents it from being recycled.

Drink containers are the most common recyclable material consumed in public so it is a key focus for reducing waste. Material with food contained in it is not easily recyclable, so it cannot be used and will be put in the landfill instead. The bins have directions for use clearly marked on them, so people should have no problems.

Nearly 2 billion drink containers are consumed in New Zealand each year, and only 30-40% of these are picked up through the kerbside recycling services. The new recycling bins should improve this.

The trial will be monitored for effectiveness. The Council will carry out ongoing contamination sampling to see if the recycling bins are being used properly. If contamination rates are too high – more than 10 percent – the Council will look at increasing public awareness on what material is suitable for the bins.


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