We're Taking a Close Look at Your Recycling

Recycling contaminated by rubbish is threatening the viability of the kerbside collection service and hitting ratepayers in the wallet.

Between May and July 179 truckloads of recycling had to be dumped because contamination with rubbish was so high it couldn’t be recycled. This cost ratepayers an extra $122,700 in dumping fees.Food waste, nappies and rubbish mixed with recyclables

The rate of rubbish making its way into recycling bins has jumped in recent months and is now so high that most kerbside recycling is going to landfill. To help educate people, we will be hitting the streets soon to spot check that people are putting the right items in the right bin.

“Many residents are doing the right thing, but it only takes one bad bin to contaminate a whole truckload of good recycling,” says Council’s Solid Waste Asset Manager Kitty Waghorn.

“We can’t afford for this level of contamination to continue, and need everyone to check they’re recycling correctly. Bin checks are the best way for us to see first-hand whether people understand what we can take.”

Information packs containing an updated recycling bin lid sticker and more information about how to use the kerbside bins will arrive in mailboxes in the kerbside collection area from mid-September. Bins will also be spot checked to make sure that people are putting the right items in the yellow bin.

Residents who have their bin checked will have a flyer left letting them know if their bins are ‘spot on’ or ‘could do better’. Badly contaminated bins will not be collected and a tag left on the bin to let residents know why it was not emptied and what they need to do to improve their recycling.

Common items which should go into the rubbish include soft plastics like cling-film and pet food bags, lids from plastic bottles and containers, plastic containers numbered 3, 4 6 and 7, unwashed bottles and containers, and general household rubbish – including dirty nappies. Food scraps are also commonly found in recycling – these need to go in the organics bin or the rubbish.

People who repeatedly put rubbish or the wrong items in the yellow bin will have the bin removed, with the service still being charged for via rates.

“We’re really committed to our recycling programme’s success and are asking everyone to take a closer look at their recycling to make sure they’ve got it right,” Kitty says.

Learn what items can go into your yellow bin at rethinkrubbish.co.nz or call 0800 965 468.