Let’s Reset Recycling – CODC to introduce changes to recycling
From 1 December, Central Otago District Council (CODC) will join the increasing number of districts changing the types of plastics accepted in yellow kerbside bins to ones that can be recycled onshore in New Zealand.
Only plastic 2 and 5 and clear plastic 1 bottles will be accepted for recycling. This includes material collected in the yellow kerbside bins, recycling drop-off points or through commercial collections.
Plastic packaging with the numbers 3, 4, 6 and 7 will no longer be accepted for recycling in the yellow kerbside bins. All other items made of number 1 plastic, other than clear bottles will not be acceptable for recycling. This includes bottles made out of coloured plastic, meat trays, punnets and biscuit trays.
Cardboard pizza boxes will also no longer be accepted for recycling in your yellow bin.
CODC Environmental Engineering Manager Quinton Penniall said the changes were part of an increasing movement by district councils towards a standardised kerbside collection across the country.
“These changes align with New Zealand’s commitment to move away from hard-to-recycle plastics. This may sound like a radical change to recycling but plastics numbered 1, 2, and 5 make up 87% of the plastics collected in kerbside recycling bins nationally.
By opting to collect high-value plastics which can be processed here in New Zealand we can be confident in a clear supply chain and improved environmental and social outcomes.
Mr Penniall said clear number 1 bottles, such as those for soft drinks, are sent to Flight Plastics in Wellington where they are repurposed into food grade packaging, while plastic numbers 2 and 5 go to Comspec in Christchurch for reprocessing.
Plastic number 1 items that are not bottles, such as meat trays and fruit punnets will only be acceptable for onshore processing from councils with an optical sorter to ensure only the correct type of plastic is received for reprocessing. The Materials Recovery Facility at Frankton, where Central Otago district recycling is sent for processing, does not have this equipment currently. This will form part of the recycling plant upgrades planned for the future.
Mayor Tim Cadogan said there were a number of ways Central Otago residents could get ready for the upcoming changes, including considering simple swaps that avoid this type of packaging altogether.
“Next time you’re doing your grocery shopping, take a look in your trolley and see if you can swap plastic for glass or tin, which can be easily recycled. Get familiar with the plastic number code and look for those numbers on the items you are buying, they’re usually found on the bottom with a triangle around them. If you are purchasing numbers 3, 4, 6, 7, or coloured plastic 1, meat trays, punnets and biscuit trays, consider an alternative.
“Making some simple changes in how we shop, as well as making sure we recycle right will have a big impact on the environment and also reduces the amount of community money that has to go into disposal on non-recyclable waste” Mayor Cadogan said.
Further details about the changes, as well as handy links to resources that can help you in your quest to reduce plastic, can be found on our Reset Recycling page.