CODC undertaking recycling survey


​​3 April 2018

Concerns over the amount of contamination going into the blue and yellow recycling bins has prompted Central Otago District Council to undertake a Glass and Mixed Recycling Bin Survey Programme.  Data will be collected on how everyone is going with their recycling and provide information for people about what is suitable to be recycled.

The survey will also be important to collect data on the glass and recycling bins in tandem with the six-yearly review of the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan now out for public feedback. Council is keen to find out how people are using the recycling service and if there are any seasonal variations in recycling. There has not been a bin survey undertaken in the district to date. A small team will cover the urban areas' recycling bins in the district's three biggest towns.

"A key aim of the survey is to record the amount of contamination occurring in the yellow and blue bins," said Environmental Engineering Manager Peter Greenwood. "Glass from the kerbside collections goes to Parkburn Quarry in Cromwell to be crushed for roading material. At present, the glass has been too contaminated with cardboard and plastic to be accepted. Once the glass is rejected, it ends up going to the landfill. In order to tackle this problem and bring the rejection levels down, inspection of bins will help us record contamination and remind people of the importance of recycling correctly."

CODC staff will carry out a visual inspection of residents' blue and yellow recycling bins in Alexandra, Clyde and Cromwell, which will provide helpful information to people about correct recycling to reduce the amount of contamination. The survey will consist of two four-week surveys in April and June and two further surveys over August/September and November/December. The first survey will start on 23 April with blue bins in Alexandra. The team will start half-way through the run so they can keep in front of the truck.

​Survey 1Survey Dates​​Yellow Bin​Blue Bin
​Week 1​23 April​Alexandra 1
​24 April​Alexandra 2
​26 April​Clyde, Bridge Hill
​Week 2​30 April​Cromwell 1
​1 May​Cromwell 2
​Week 3​7 May​Alexandra 1
​8 May​Alexandra 2
​9 May​Clyde, Bridge Hill
​Week 4​14 May​Cromwell 1
15 May​​Cromwell 2

Two teams of two people will work on opposite sides of the street. They will lift the lid and visually inspect the bins. No sorting through the bins' contents will occur.

Data that will be recorded includes:

  • Street name
  • The number of households that set their bins out
  • The contamination or lack of contamination observed
  • Type of contaminants
  • The amount of contamination
  • Fullness of the bins is i.e. ¼, ½ or overfull

Feedback will be in the form of a colour-coded information tag left on the handle of a bin to indicate how residents are doing with their recycling habits.

Council's Waste and Property Infrastructure Chair Nigel McKinlay said ratepayers were to be "congratulated" for the way they have bought into recycling since the bins system started, which had meant a big reduction in waste going to landfill.

"The survey aims to make recycling more effective by ensuring that the right stuff goes into the right bin. If recycled material is contaminated by being put in the wrong bin then it can't be re-used and ends up as landfill.

"When you see the survey team in your town please do not hesitate to ask them questions or make your views on the recycling service known to them. This will help Council continue to improve its service to you."

Information on how each town goes will be available at the end of each survey period on the CODC website and Facebook.

For more information on how to recycle visit or contact the Central Otago District Council on 03 440 0056.


Page reviewed: 09 Apr 2018 10:20am