Shed­ding some light on rules for re­cy­cling


A Palmer­ston North re­cy­cling guru has coun­tered crit­i­cism the city coun­cil is too ‘‘picky’’ about what can go in re­cy­cling bins.

The com­plaint, posted on Neigh­bourly by city res­i­dent Phil Chris­tensen, prompted an out­pour­ing of com­ments from peo­ple who thought the coun­cil was not do­ing enough, and was mak­ing re­cy­cling too com­pli­cated.

Chris­tensen said it was a shame if peo­ple used their re­cy­cling bin for rub­bish that was clearly un­ac­cept­able.

But he said the coun­cil’s list of what could go where had be­come too long and com­plex, as well as hav­ing gaps in it.

Dozens of com­ments fol­lowed, many of them neg­a­tive.

The be­hav­iour change and ed­u­ca­tion co-or­di­na­tor for City Net­works, Sam Battman,

said the crit­i­cism was ‘‘a lit­tle dis­heart­en­ing’’, but it was great that peo­ple were talk­ing and wanted to do bet­ter.

She said con­fu­sion arose when im­ported prod­ucts had the re­cy­cling triangle on them, when there was no way to make them into some­thing else.

‘‘We are do­ing as much as we can to col­lab­o­rate with oth­ers and find so­lu­tions for more prod­ucts.’’

One ex­am­ple of re­act­ing to public pres­sure was the bat­tery re­cy­cling pi­lot at the Fer­gu­son St cen­tre, which had be­come a per­ma­nent ser­vice.

Peo­ple could drop off up to 2kg of house­hold bat­ter­ies, typ­i­cally bat­ter­ies from the re­mote con­trols, torches and phones, free of charge.

Battman said the city was in line to get a drop-off point where peo­ple could leave plas­tic shop­ping bags as part of the soft plas­tic re­cy­cling scheme next year.

She clar­i­fied the rules about meat trays. Polystyrene trays, of­ten black, were rub­bish.

Plas­tic trays, in­clud­ing those with a hon­ey­comb base, needed a good rinse then were good for the re­cy­cling bin.

More de­tails on what goes where is on the coun­cil’s web­site, the Guru’s guide to what goes where.

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