Aucklanders get smarter about recycling
19 November 2003
Aucklanders get smarter about
recycling to the tune of 375 tonnes
Material collected on the Auckland isthmus and Waiheke island for recycling increased by four per cent or 375 tonnes in the July-September 2003 quarter, compared with the same quarter last year, according to a report presented today to Auckland City Council’s Works Committee.
The report covers the ninth quarter since changes were introduced to the council’s rubbish service in July 2001. Although the amount of material collected for recycling increased this quarter, rubbish disposed of to landfill also increased. However, the rate of increase was greater for recycling than for rubbish to landfill.
Waiheke Island leads the field this quarter, with material collected for recycling going up from 181 tonnes to 224 tonnes and rubbish tonnages decreasing from 1487 tonnes to 1135 tonnes.
“These results are encouraging and show Aucklanders are responding well to the council’s recent Create your own Eden and rubbish and recycling campaigns by making smarter decisions about recycling and other waste reduction methods,” says Councillor Bill Christian, Works Committee chairperson.
Since July 2001, regular waste audits have been done of bins of household users of the council’s services. The most recent audit was done in September. The average weight of rubbish in our bins remains around the 10.5kg mark, of which 7kg are potentially recyclable or compostable. Of the 7kg, some 2kg could be collected in the blue recycling bin or in the independent paper/cardboard collection, with the remainder being organic (compostable) material.
There are some 140,000 120-litre wheelie bins serviced by the council on the isthmus. If just 2kg per household per week were either recycled or composted, there would be 14,560 tonnes less per annum going to landfill. This would save the council and its ratepayers some $500,000 in avoided disposal costs.
“Being smarter about our rubbish and recycling practices makes good business sense. Not only does it produce a better result for our environment, but it can also save us money,” says Mr Christian.