City’s lack of re­cy­cling ‘em­bar­rass­ing’

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - KELLEY TANTAU

Hamil­ton’s lack of re­cy­cling op­tions has been deemed ‘‘em­bar­rass­ing’’ by res­i­dents.

The com­ment was de­liv­ered at a pub­lic hear­ing into Hamil­ton City Coun­cil’s new waste col­lec­tion pro­posal, to in­tro­duce wheeled bins and more re­cy­cling op­tions.

At present peo­ple can only re­cy­cle two types of plas­tics. Coun­cil’s pro­posed ser­vice would en­able peo­ple to re­cy­cle more, in­clud­ing ice cream and yo­ghurt con­tain­ers, as well as the on­cere­jected pizza box.

Over­all the city could dou­ble the amount it re­cy­cles.

Hamil­ton mum Amanda Board told the hear­ings com­mit­tee her fam­ily were con­scious con­sumers and the city’s lack of re­cy­cling op­tions was an em­bar­rass­ment.

‘‘It’s ridicu­lous to think as con­sumers we can buy it but can­not re­cy­cle it. Re­cy­cling re­spon­si­bil­ity has been ed­u­cated in my chil­dren’s schools and yet they can not re­cy­cle the waste they cre­ate at home or in the com­mu­nity.

‘‘It’s waste, and there’s no point in de­bat­ing whether we should have biodegrad­able pack­ag­ing. The waste is cre­ated, it’s the so­ci­ety we live in. It just needs to go in the ap­pro­pri­ate places that are al­ready there.’’

Board be­lieves the coun­cil needs to es­tab­lish clear, ba­sic guide­lines when it comes to ad­min­is­ter­ing wheeled bins.

She also said the pro­posed smaller food waste bin was a pos­i­tive ad­di­tion.

‘‘Peo­ple are be­com­ing re­spon­si­ble for their waste. For years you’ve just been able to put it in this mag­i­cal black bag on the kerb and it dis­ap­pears.

‘‘One thing is peo­ple can’t have com­post on thier prop­er­ties, so the fact that peo­ple are able to get rid of their food waste in a re­spon­si­ble way is re­ally im­por­tant. If you take out all of the stuff that can be re­cy­cled, the amount of waste is min­i­mal.’’

But other speak­ers at Thurs­day morn­ing’s hear­ing at the coun­cil were wor­ried about van­dals and thieves tar­get­ing the wheeled bins. They also thought larger bins would en­cour­age peo­ple to cre­ate more rub­bish.

Nick Willemse said it was a fact of hu­man na­ture, that with big­ger bins, peo­ple would be­come less con­cerned about re­duc­ing waste.

The pro­posal at­tracted a record 2793 pub­lic sub­mis­sions and about 50 peo­ple asked to speak to the hear­ings com­mit­tee, dur­ing the two-day hear­ing that con­cluded on Fri­day.

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