There’s plenty of rea­sons to re­cy­cle

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News - JAMES SAINS­BURY

I was ap­proached by a ci­ti­zen on our last rub­bish day about a black and yel­low re­cy­cling wheelie bin that ap­peared to be over­flow­ing with tree branches and other green waste.

Would this non-re­cy­clable (but or­ganic) green waste con­tam­i­nate our re­cy­cling stream and re­sult in the en­tire load be­ing dumped?

I con­firmed with the coun­cil solid waste man­ager that if we place non-re­cy­clable items (e.g. poly­styrene foam, elec­tri­cal goods, nap­pies, green waste) into the black and yel­low wheelie bin then, yes, we are con­tam­i­nat­ing the re­cy­cling stream.

If it can be de­tected at kerb­side then the wheelie bin will not be emp­tied. If it is still col­lected then it can be re­moved from the re­cy­cling at the sort­ing fa­cil­ity.

While it is re­as­sur­ing to know that a mis­placed nappy does not to­tally de­rail our re­cy­cling pro­gramme, con­tam­i­na­tion of this kind makes the end prod­uct less use­ful and in­creases costs, un­der­min­ing the sus­tain­abil­ity of these types of pro­grammes. So it is worth­while tak­ing the ex­tra minute to sort re­cy­cling cor­rectly.

Per­haps of greater con­cern is con­tam­i­na­tion of our gen­eral refuse with re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als.

Glass, tin cans, plas­tics, paper and card­board are all valu­able re­sources that are bought and sold on the open mar­ket.

It sim­ply doesn’t make sense for these ma­te­ri­als to end up in the land­fill, es­pe­cially when ev­ery tonne of waste col­lected at kerb­side costs around $120 to throw away – a cost which is ex­pected to rise.

This cost is trans­ferred to kerb­side col­lec­tion cus­tomers in their tar­geted rates and when they pur­chase ad­di­tional bags. When re­cy­cling is done cor­rectly it can save the ratepayer money and is the far bet­ter op­tion en­vi­ron­men­tally.

In the 2015/16 year Mata­mataPi­ako District Coun­cil col­lected over 9000 tonnes of rub­bish, of which more than 40 per cent was re­cy­cled.

There is scope to do even bet­ter, and the coun­cil is re­view­ing a range of dif­fer­ent ideas for work­ing with the com­mu­nity to bet­ter man­age and min­imise the waste gen­er­ated in our district.

While we are work­ing through this process, there are many daily choices we can con­sider to fur­ther di­vert waste from the land­fill.

In your wheelie bin you can place: Clean plas­tic (grades 1-7); clean tins/cans; paper and card­board. In your green bin you can place clean glass bot­tles (all colours, but not drink­ing glasses or bro­ken glass like win­dows).

As for gar­den and other green waste, home com­post­ing may be an op­tion to con­sider.

The coun­cil also ac­cepts this type of ma­te­rial at our trans­fer sta­tions for in­dus­trial com­post­ing and although charges ap­ply, it is much cheaper than dumping.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to our web­site kerb­side.co.nz or watch our video on Youtube.

-James Sains­bury is a Mata­mata Ward Coun­cil­lor.

REXINE HAWES

James Sains­bury.

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