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Recycling rurally: Site number five

The fifth new-generation rural recycling depot has been rolled out, with three six-metre specially adapted containers delivered to land next to the Maraekakaho River Bridge.

All household recycling can be dropped off at the site – paper, cardboard, plastics number 1 to 7, cans and colour-sorted glass.

Planning for rural recycle centres started in 2012, to help rural residents move away from disposing of rubbish on their farms. ‘Outside the square’ thinking by Hastings District Council’s waste team identified appropriate rural sites, a design for the recycling facilities and a way of managing collection in far-flung areas.

Maraekakaho was one of two rural areas to be part of a two-year trial using smaller recycling bins, before the roll-out of the containers.

The trial showed that rural residents were willing to recycle, rather than burn or bury recyclable rubbish on their farms, but there needed to be a facility to do so, said Hastings deputy mayor and farmer Tania Kerr. “The feedback I am getting is that the sites are a brilliant addition to our rural communities. People are telling me they are much-appreciated and well-used. People love them.”

To ensure the scheme is financially viable “recycling champions” in each area advise when the bin is nearing capacity, with contractors able to respond within the next two to three days. That system allowed council to consider remote areas; placing bins as far away as Tutira, a 90-minute each way drive for the service truck.

“The continued roll-out of this innovative service is very pleasing. The results are excellent for our rural residents and the environment,” said Mrs Kerr.

Materials that cannot yet be recycled at any of the depots across town and country include soft plastics, single use plastic bags, dog food bags, shrink wrap or polystyrene. “A lot of work is being done nationally on issues such as single-use plastic bags, and Council is looking forward to positive results out of that,” said Mrs Kerr.


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