News & Events

Consultation opens on recycling review

Friday November 27 2020

Palmy residents are being asked to use their purchasing power when buying packaged goods, as the city considers reducing the range of plastic containers collected for recycling.

Photo shows hundreds of bales of mixed plastics, compacted and heaped in piles at Awapuni.

The pile of stored 3,4,6 and 7 mixed recycling at our Awapuni Resource Recovery Centre.

Previously, containers with numbers 3,4,6 and 7 were sent overseas, but over the past 18 months, we haven’t been able to find a market for them. We’ve been storing this recycling at our Awapuni Resource Recovery Centre while we investigate other markets and alternative uses, and await government decisions about standardising collections nationwide.

Have your say on this proposed change

This proposed change about what we collect requires an amendment to our Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw and that requires us to consult with our community.

Water and Waste Operations Manager, Mike Monaghan, says the feedback period will be open until January 8,2021.

“This problem we face is an unfortunate reality that many others are grappling with too. Half the councils in New Zealand have already stopped collecting these items, and we expect many more to follow suit. While to our knowledge, there is no other option here, we know our residents are interested in the waste space and may want to suggest some ideas. We’re always open to getting that feedback.”

Find more information and a feedback form at pncc.govt.nz/recyclingreview

Photo shows symbols for plastic recycling numbers 3, 4, 6 and 7, and lists examples of everyday items made from these different types of plastic.

This graphic shows common items that Palmy people use that are 3,4,6 and 7.

Switch to packaging that can be recycled in New Zealand

More information explaining these items can be found on our website, but they commonly include: clear takeaway trays, 6pk yoghurt pottles, some meat trays, foam cups, protective packaging that protects batteries and technology items, some larger cleaning products with sturdy handles and some squeezy sauce bottles.

In Palmy these containers or packaging make up around 5 per cent of the average household recycling wheelie bin, and weigh on average between 400g-1kg a fortnight. If a decision is made to proceed with not collecting these numbers anymore, it still means the majority of what people are putting in their wheelie bin currently will still be recycled.

Once consultation ends, we’ll be reporting that feedback back to Council in February or March. If the decision is made to proceed with reducing what can be recycled, then a date for that to take effect will be decided. Residents will be given advanced notice, and a widespread education campaign will begin.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to collect, sort and store these items at our centre.

Mr Monaghan says he understands residents will be disappointed to hear there is no way to recycle these items locally.

“We know our residents are environmentally friendly and while it is unfortunate, we’d encourage them to still make sustainable choices. When shopping opt for items with packaging with a 1, 2 or 5 that can be recycled here in New Zealand.”

He says there are more tips on our website about how people can make more environmentally friendly options and reduce their waste.