New Restrictions for Plastic Recycling

Waimakariri residents are being reminded to put the right items in their yellow bin, with kerbside recycling starting again from Monday.

lYour yellow bin now only accepts rigid plastic containers and bottles marked with a 1, 2 or 5. All other plastic, including lids, need to go in the rubbish.

Solid Waste Manager Kitty Waghorn advises that the plastic type is shown as a number inside a triangle, usually on the bottom of the container.

“If there is no number, or if you’re in any doubt as to whether or not it can be recycled, it’s better that it goes in the rubbish to avoid contaminating the recycling load.”

Type 1 plastics include most soft drink and salad dressing bottles, meat trays and soap bottles.

Type 2 plastics are frosted milk bottles and cleaning containers.

Type 5 plastics include ice-cream containers, fabric softener bottles and family sized yoghurt tubs.

All other plastic types need to go in the rubbish. Other items that shouldn’t go in the yellow recycling bin include takeaway coffee cups, anything that says ‘compostable’ and any plastic that has contained car engine oil or toxic chemicals, regardless of the plastic type.

“It’s crucial that people only put in the bin what can be recycled,” says Kitty. “The markets that buy our recycling have a very low tolerance for contamination and we don’t want loads to end up in the landfill.”

Because of the machinery used at the sorting facility, plastic bottles and containers need to be bigger than the size of an individual yoghurt pottle, but smaller than three litres.

Items need to be clean and loose in the bin – not squashed or put in a bag.  Clean cardboard, paper, aluminium cans, metal tins, glass bottles and jars are the only non-plastic items that should go in the yellow bin.

The changes to plastic recycling will also be in place at the transfer station once they start accepting plastics again.

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