Recycling Changes - Plastics 1 and 2 only - Council asks community to help

​Due to changes in world recycling markets, our Council can no longer recycle Plastics 3 - 7

"We can no longer recycle these products so we are asking our community to stop putting these plastics into urban recycling crates and rural recycling drop off depots," said Ted Anderson, Council's Assets Group Manager. "We need our community's help to action this change.

"Council's contractor has been actively looking for new markets for several months. During this time we have been removing plastics 3 - 7 from urban and rural recycling and stockpiling it," he continued. "They're still working on this but we want to be honest with our community - if we don't find a market to take them, we may have to take these plastics to our landfill. Council is disappointed by this prospect."

Council will be conducting a significant education campaign through local media, social media, website, mail drops, our community newsletter In Touch, among others.

"We urge our community to keep an eye on their mailboxes and on our local newspaper South Waikato News for more information," said Council's Communications Manager, Kerry Fabrie.

There is no change to glass or any other recyclable material; it is just Plastics 3 - 7. Plastics 3 - 7 form about 30% of our total plastic recycling.

Council's website will have examples of commonly used products made with plastics 3 - 7 to assist in the behaviour change, however it is impossible to photograph and/or list every single product. Again, Council needs our community's help.

"Most plastic products have the familiar recycling symbol, usually - not always - on the bottom of the product," continued Ms Fabrie. "If the number in the middle of this symbol is a 1 or a 2, please recycle it; if it is any other number or no number, please put it into your general waste instead.

"And - even better, if you are able - stop buying that product. Look for alternatives that can be recycled; ie a 1 or a 2."

"Two inexpensive changes that everyone can do with relative ease is to stop using plastic shopping bags, use cloth ones instead," said Kerry Fabrie, Council's Communications Manager. "Another is to use the new cloth net bags for fruit and veg selection, not the plastic ones."

"More costly changes include replacing plastic wrap (like Gladwrap) with Lilibeewrap or Honeywrap," she continued. "These products are on the pricey side, but they are washable and re-usable and a more environmentally friendly option; for those who can afford to make this change."

Council appreciates the tremendous efforts people in our community put into recycling and encourage everyone to look for alternatives to plastics 3 to 7. A good opportunity to learn more is to sign up for Plastic Free July, an international campaign.

Council has estimated that if we continue to collect Plastics 3 - 7, disposal costs will be about $27,000 a year.

"Council is appealing to its community to help us make this change. We can't do it alone," said Mr Anderson.

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Page reviewed: 13 Jul 2018 2:30pm