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Kerbside Recycling

recyclingWhat you can (and can’t) put out . . .

Heads-up: The rapidly reducing market for used plastics means that changes have to be made. Decisions on those changes are expected to be made at the end of this month (March 2019) with details made public as soon as possible after that. It is likely that the types of plastics we can collect for recycling will be much more limited and any unclean plastic will not be collected.

Kerbside recycling is the most cost-effective way we have of keeping large amounts of recyclable material out of Omarunui Landfill. Last year we collected almost 4000 tonnes of recyclable material at the kerbside (glass: 1982.08; paper/cardboard: 1282.58; plastic/cans: 625.379) – with much of it recycled here in Hastings.

But, it relies on all of us getting it right. Contamination of recycling with things like food, dirt or non-recyclable items is the biggest reason for recycling being unusable. Companies will not take ‘dirty’ recycling, which means it must be sent to the landfill.

The kerbside recycling service is available in the urban areas of Hastings. Residents choose their own recycling bins. For the size limits on recycling bins see the Recycling Containers guide from the related documents section above.

Recycling needs to be sorted into three bins or boxes: Plastic and aluminium/tin cans; paper and cardboard; glass jars and bottles.

To find out what day your recycling is collected, enter your address into the search box on the Collection Days page of this website. Council’s kerbside collection is carried out on the same day every week including on public holidays.

The specifics: What can go in the recycling

Plastics and aluminium cans. Specific types of plastic that are clean, ie each item rinsed so that it does not smell and has no food, dirt or non-recyclable items with it, can be sent to companies that will chip it into flakes and melted to be made into new products. Currently in Hastings rigid plastic containers numbered 1-7 are being collected but this is expected to change given there is almost no market for plastics numbered 3-7.

Aluminium and tin cans, which can be in the same recycling bin as the plastics, are removed at a Whakatu site and sold to local metal recyclers. Again, rinse the cans before recycling – no-one wants to handle rancid tuna or baked beans as they sort through the recycling.

Do include: Aluminium cans, tin cans, plastics with the numbers 1-7 within a triangle on their bottoms (milk bottles, shampoo bottles, cleaning product bottles, margarine and butter tubs, soft drink bottles)

Don’t include: Items that have food in them, plastics that have no numbers on the bottom, soft plastics (bread bags, shopping bags), cellophane and foil packets (biscuits, chippies), meat trays, polystyrene, large items such as buckets, plant pots, washing baskets and chairs.

Paper and cardboard.

All our paper and cardboard is recycled right here in Hastings by a company that makes fruit trays.

Put all your cardboard and paper together at the kerbside – secured so it won’t blow away in the wind. In an open bin or tied with string is ideal.

Do include: Paper, cardboard, junk mail, empty pizza boxes (remove all food but grease marks are okay), egg cartons, newspapers, envelopes, magazines, boxes that household products come in (cereal, beauty products, crackers etc).

Don’t include: Items that have food in them; tetra packs; polystyrene

Glass bottles.

All our glass is crushed by a company here in Hastings then trucked to Auckland where another New Zealand company recycles it into new glass products.

Put your glass bottles and jars in a bin at the kerbside. Make sure the weight is reasonable – the recycling teams will not empty bins that weigh more than 10kgs.

Do include: Wine, beer and spirit bottles of all colours, all jars and bottles that have had food or drink in them (soft drink, jam, pickles etc), jars that have had things like beauty products in them.

Don’t include: Broken bottles and jars, spectacles, mirror glass, window glass, drinking glasses, glass bowls, light bulbs. Make sure the bottles and jars are empty and clean them before adding them to your recycling.

The big questions

Why can’t we recycle more types of plastics? Soft plastics, takeaway coffee cup lids . . .

The two biggest factors limiting the types of plastics that can be recycled in New Zealand are contamination and cost.

Coffee cups and tetra paks

Products such as coffee cup lids and plastic flower pots are not recyclable due to the high possibility that they will be contaminated. The majority of coffee cup lids are put into recycling bins without being rinsed as they are bought on-the-go and thrown away before being taken near a sink.
The takeaway coffee cup is often a meld of products, card and plastic, making them unrecyclable.
Likewise, tetra pak is a type of plasticised cardboard packaging used to package fluids such as juice, milk and yogurt. It cannot be recycled as the cardboard is lined with plastic.

Soft plastics

Nearly every product you buy now comes with some form of soft plastic as packaging. This massive amount of waste makes recycling a struggle as these types of products can only be recycled at a cost to the recycler, due to their low quality. Compounding the problem is that the products that can be made from this type of plastic, such as park benches, fence posts and playground equipment, are in limited demand. These factors make soft plastic an item that it is extremely difficult to recycle.
Some soft plastic collections for recycling have been trialled in parts of New Zealand,  however the sheer amount of the soft plastic waste is proving very difficult to manage. Work continues on possible solutions, however the recommended action is to avoid purchasing products in soft plastic packaging as much as possible. More information on potential solutions is available on the Ministry for the Environment’s soft plastic recycling page.

Meat trays

Black and blue foam meat trays are made of polystyrene which is a plastic that is not bio-degradable and cannot be recycled in Hawke’s Bay. However, clear plastic meat trays can be recycled as long as they have been cleaned.

Large plastics

Items like flower pots are full of soil and, even if they are rinsed before being recycled the, potential that soil remains in grooves is an issue when it comes to bales of plastic recycling being imported into other countries.
Large items such as plastic deck chairs, buckets and laundry baskets are not recyclable either. Even if they are labelled 1-7 these items are too large to be processed through recycling facilities and when broken into pieces it is no longer clear what type of plastic they are.

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