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Keep trash out of recycling

The next time you bring in your recycling bin, spare a thought for the team doing the mahi to deal with our city’s waste.

While the majority of households are recycling right, Waste Management drivers are regularly seeing contaminated items such as nappies, bottles with rotten milk, broken glass and rancid meat trays in recycling bins.

Apart from being unpleasant to deal with, this waste is unsanitary for the drivers and can cause health effects, injuries from broken glass as well as increased pest problems such as maggots and rats.

“Our contractors aim to take all the recycling they can, but unfortunately what they are sorting can be so badly contaminated that the entire bin will be rejected,” says community assets and resource manager Laird Kennedy.

“The drivers are Gisborne locals – this is their home and they take their kaitiaki role seriously. We ask that the community do the same to help make their job easier.”

When products are contaminated with food, they can’t be recycled. It is a wasted opportunity for a recyclable item to end up at landfill.

Thoroughly rinse all grade 1-2 plastics, tins and cans to ensure there is no food residue left. Rotten milk is particularly prone to causing maggots and other food debris (particularly left in pizza boxes) attracts rats.

Also make sure that general rubbish items are not put in the recycling bin – this includes grades 3 to 7 plastics which are not recyclable.

To ensure your recycling gets picked up, remember: wash, squash, lids-off.


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