Aucklanders struggling with new recycling rules says local centre

May 13, 2024

Aucklanders struggling with new recycling rules says local centre

Council still finding non-recyclables in Aucklanders' recycling. Photo: Matt Bullock

Aucklanders seem to be struggling with following new rules about what's allowed in their bins, which is contaminating loads, warns a local recycyling centre.

And the council is doing 'targeted interventions' while warning that ultimately all residents will bear the cost of items going to landfill instead.

Things like aerosol cans, cartons and plastic bottle lids are no longer able to be recycled under the Feb 1 new regulations, which standardised recycling around the country.

But centres are still receiving such items, says Onehunga Zero Waste director Ron Muavae.

“We are constantly seeing mixed plastics and materials that cannot be processed due to size, contamination or mixture of chemicals that render the waste non-recyclable.

"One example is bottle caps and lids."

The council is currently reminding people what those new regulations are - and checking bins, says Parul Sood, Auckland Council general manager of waste solutions.

“We are doing some targeted interventions in specific areas, where we are monitoring bins on a regular basis.

“Then we are following it up and educating residents with information in terms of what should and should not be in the bin.”

Sood stressed Aucklanders need to be careful about what they put into their recycling bins.

“Because if we continue to have that kind of contamination coming in the bins, that impacts the cost that all Aucklanders pay.

"Because if they're dirty, or they’ve got food in it, we cannot recycle those products. And then it must go to landfill.”

Muavae said he welcomed the educational programmes, but felt more should be done by manufacturers.

“Continuing to educate about the effects of waste pollution is always welcomed, but reducing (it) and applying pressure on manufacturers generating non-recyclable products without an afterlife solution will ultimately help our current crisis.”

LISTEN: What the council is doing with your recycling - Te Waha Nui’s Matt Bullock talks to Auckland Council waste solutions general manager Parul Sood.

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