Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Wellington Gets A Pass Mark In Recycling Survey

In a recent survey, Wellington city residents got a good report card on their recycling knowledge – but we could all do a bit better.

The Colmar Brunton Waste Minz survey shows 93% of Wellingtonians recycle and 87% believe it’s worth taking the time to recycle right, higher than the national average. We also get top marks for remembering to rinse before we recycle, but we can be guilty of ‘wishcycling’ – recycling things we’re unsure of and hoping for the best.

On average, Wellington residents are getting 2 out of 3 things right, with some common misconceptions that lead to contamination like any plastic material and any paper can be recycled, compostable equals recyclable, and that lids and caps will be removed at the sorting plant.

Based on the insights from this survey, there is a clear opportunity to improve recycling knowledge and sorting behaviours, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“Wellington city respondents are more likely to err on the side of caution if they are unsure of whether an item is recyclable or not, and place it in the rubbish (68%) rather than the recycling (32%). This is the right action, as it reduces recycling contamination – if in doubt, throw it out!

“Almost all Wellington city respondents rinse items, but fewer remove lids which is unfortunate as some lids are separately recyclable. We need to take some personal accountability and challenge behaviours like thinking it’s fine to put a few incorrect items into the recycling because it will be separated and cleaned at the recycling sorting centre. That takes up people’s time and costs all of us money.”

While this study found the majority agree recycling is important, uncertainty about what can or can’t be recycled is affecting the outcomes, says Councillor Laurie Foon, Waste Free Wellington portfolio lead.

“There is a huge amount of information available about recycling, and we work hard to ensure our messaging is correct and easily accessible, but there are still a number of common items that trip people up.

“For instance, we get a lot of questions about whether takeaway coffee cups are recyclable or compostable by Wellington City Council’s collection services. The answer is neither – all takeaway coffee cups must go in the general rubbish destined for landfill.

“We recommend sitting in your favourite café to enjoy your coffee, or using keep cups or cup reuse systems like Again Again to reduce the millions of single-use coffee cups ending up in the country’s landfills.

“While we encourage recycling correctly, the ultimate goal is to not need to do it at all, so we need to work collectively to reduce the amount of recyclable items we buy, and influence the manufacturers to provide alternative solutions like refilling and reusing.”

There are common items we often ‘wishcycle’, or place in our recycling hoping for the best, that actually need to go in the rubbish bin – these include:

Compostable packaging

Till receipts

Plastic cutlery

Meat trays

Juice cartons

Coffee cups and lids

Plastic straws

Remember to look for the recycling symbol and the number on plastics – not just the symbol – as Wellington City Council only accepts plastics numbered 1,2 and 5. But remember no meat trays until new sorting machinery is introduced.

Remove lids and caps from all bottles and containers as these are too small to be recycled. Lids and caps can go in your rubbish or save them up to take to Sustainability Trust which is running a collection trial.

And if you’re not sure if an item is recyclable? Check out the what to do with your waste search tool.

“I am looking forward to national progress on container deposit legislation or the requirement for a stamp of certification and, to see the Government require industry to use 1,2 and 5 plastic wherever possible,” adds Mayor Foster.

Much of Wellington’s low value plastic (typically 3, 4, 6 & 7) goes overseas, but these markets are oversupplied and volatile. Essentially, at the moment there is no market for these plastics, and most other Councils have already stopped collecting them.

There is also a high carbon cost incurred by sending it abroad – whereas high-grade plastics 1, 2, and 5 are recyclable by companies in New Zealand that repurpose them into products like food grade packaging, traffic cones and fence posts.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What We Could Do For Hong Kong, If Only We Dared

There has been something repulsive about PM Jacinda Ardern’s assurances that our joint 5 Eyes criticism of China’s actions over Hong Kong – and China’s harsh reaction – are all well understood on both sides. According to Ardern, it has been a case of us saying the sort of things we’ve said before, them acknowledging our need to do so, and then them responding much as we would expect them to do. All neat and tidy. Frankly, if all of this is merely virtue signalling on our part, and huffy declarations of independence on their part, then what’s the point of this diplomatic dance..? More>>


Grant Robertson: Government To Review Housing Settings

New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus More>>


Law Commission: Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations

Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission today released a report that recommends a new, comprehensive regime to control how DNA is obtained, used and retained for criminal investigations. The report has revealed significant gaps in the operation ... More>>


National: Leader’s Speech At Annual General Meeting

Good morning delegates. It’s an absolute privilege to be speaking as your leader. I’d like to acknowledge the party president, regional chairs, board members, National Party staff, our MPs, our candidates, and most importantly, you – the delegates, ... More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>


Green Party: Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team

“The Green Party caucus offers a breadth of talent and energy to the Parliament this term. In ten MPs you have a small business owner, a human rights lawyer, an academic, a climate negotiator, a transport planner, and so much more”, Green Party ... More>>


APEC: New Zealand Ready To Host Virtually

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels