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Recycling Temporarily Stockpiled

The Hurunui District Council is storing as much recycling as possible following an announcement by the region’s Material Recovery Facility, that it will be suspending its recycling sorting operations.

Although kerbside collections will continue as normal, the decision means the contents of council recycling bags are currently not going to Eco Central to be processed. All greater Christchurch Councils will be affected by these changes.

The council is working to proceed with business as usual and storing as much recycling as possible to avoid it going to landfill. Residents are being asked to store as much recycling as they can at home, but also reassured that kerbside collection will continue for those who simply can’t store any more.

The announcement comes as the result of a ‘perfect storm’ of challenges in the sector, including the risk of exposing staff who manually sort rubbish from recycling to the COVID-19 virus, tighter acceptance criteria from overseas recycling facilities, lower commodity prices and limited access to overseas ports.

Hurunui District Council’s Chief Operations Officer Dan Harris says that local Council continues to battle recycling challenges in relation to COVID-19, but can, with a little help from residents, continue storing recycling until Eco Central reopens.

“We want to keep our services as normal as possible, but we do ask that residents temporarily hold onto what ever they can at the moment,” he said.

“We have kept our transfer stations open, but we are having problems with residents not sticking to essential waste. We understand if feels like the perfect time for a garage clean out or a big garden tidy-up. But the transfer stations can’t service these at the moment as we are open for essential waste only.”

“The district’s recycling is being stored in large containers at our Amberley Transfer Station until Eco Central can take it again and we will keep updating on any changes.”

“Now more than ever it is critical that any recycling kept at home or put out for collection is clean and contains no residual food waste. We need to send contaminated recycling to landfill.”

“People’s well-being and the continuation of services is our top priority. Which is why we will keep kerbside collection going."

The council is also investigating alternative sources for some recycling materials, specifically food and drink cans.

“It is possible in the interim for the council to send clean food and drink cans to our metal merchant. If residents put food and drink cans in a separate recycling bag, then this will help us save space in storage and ensure some material gets recycled sooner rather than later,” says Harris.

Council waste services will continue to be updated where needed in relation to Covid-19.

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