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Specialist recycling options at Environment Centre

There are ways to recycle some of the bits and pieces from our everyday lives that can’t go in the council recycling collections – and it takes just a small amount of effort.

Toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, clean cling wrap, plastic food storage containers (number 5s), metal and aluminium bottle tops, ink and toner cartridges, batteries and fluorescent light bulbs are all on the list of specialist recycling that can be dropped off at Environment Centre Hawke’s Bay, Karamu Rd, in Hastings.

Centre general manager Marielle Haringa says the recycling of many of the products is through TerraCycle, a global organisation that arranges product stewardship with the companies that produce the items.

And some of the participating companies also take products produced by their competitors.

Glad takes back any brand of cling wrap, freezer bags and Snaplock bags, provided they are clean, as well as its food storage containers and similar containers made by other companies (stamped with the recycle number 5), again, provided they are clean.

It is good to see companies taking responsibility for their own products; and taking back their competitors’ products is another very positive step, said Ms Haringa.

“If you do need to use plastic such as cling wrap or snap lock bags, then clean it, store up a pile and then bring it into us. That is preferable to having it go to landfill where it will take forever to break down.

“But please make sure it is clean – we do not want bits of your sandwich in with your cling wrap or snap lock bag. Our volunteers have to handle it and putting in dirty plastic is not fair on them. It risks the whole bin going to the landfill.”

The plastics are melted down and then made into new hard plastic products.

Oral care products of any brand are accepted by Colgate: Toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes and caps, and empty dental floss containers. These plastics are also melted down and then made into new plastic products.

Collecting metal or aluminium caps off like things like beer and wine bottles is an easy thing to do, Ms Haringa said.

“Just collect them all in a container and call in and drop them off when it’s full – every little bit that does not go into the landfill helps.”

Hastings District councillor and council’s environment portfolio leader Rod Heaps said the centre does a great job of helping to deal with products that are impossible to recycle through council’s kerbside and drop-off collections.

“For council to do this there would need to be a bin supplied for each category which would be a very expensive collection process. It’s about all of us taking responsibility and this is a pretty easy way of doing it.”

To find Environment Centre Hawke’s Bay’s open hours, see www.environmentcentre.org.nz

To find out more about TerraCycle NZ see: www.terracycle.com/en-NZ

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