Rubbish & Recycling
South Waikato District Council is introducing two changes to its rubbish and recycling service starting Monday 29 July.
Rubbish and Recycling zone change
From Monday 29 July, Council is moving to a five day a week collection for urban waste collections. This change affects Arapuni and Tīrau urban residents ONLY. Arapuni and Tīrau are moving to a Monday collection for both rubbish and recycling collections. Putāruru and Tokoroa are not affected.
Rubbish and Recycling time change
ALL collection areas are affected by a change to the collection start time. This is changing to the early time of 7.30am (currently 8am).
Urban readers are strongly encouraged to follow the link below to the full media statement and/or advert as there is more information in there that is important. There will be a significant communications campaign pushing this message out, including adverts in South Waikato News, more social media, mail drops and of course residents are encouraged to install Antenno so that you receive reminders!
Click here for the full media statement.
Council owns and operates a landfill in Tokoroa and a transfer station in Putāruru. Greenwaste mulching takes place in Tokoroa. All of these sites are managed for Council by private operators in accordance with Council's Landfill Management Plans. For more information on landfills, please follow this link.
Council provides weekly refuse and fortnightly kerbside recyclable collection from urban areas paying for this service, in Arapuni, Putāruru, Tīrau and Tokoroa. For more on our recycling service, please follow this link or for the recycling calendar please click here.
Council also provides for litter collection in our CBD areas and parks and reserves.
For landfill fees follow this link here.
We have a special message for our community at the moment regarding recycling. Please read on further.
Recycling Changes - Plastics 1s and 2s only
Due to changing world markets, Plastics 3 - 7 can no longer be recycled, so Council is asking our community to help us by only putting Plastics 1 and 2 in to your recycling crates/recycling drop off facilities. Please either stop buying Plastics 3 - 7 or put these plastics in your general waste.
Which plastics are what?
It is impossible to photograph all products, so we encourage people to check out the recycling symbol.
Remember too - while some of these plastics can no longer be recycled, they can be re-used!
How can I check which products are Plastics 1 and 2?
Check the recycling symbol - usually on the bottom of the container. If the number is 1 or 2, it can be recycled. Any other number, or no number, please don't put it in your recycling.
TOP THREE TIPS!
- Remove bottle tops (wine, milk, juice) and put in the general waste.
- Rinse plastics and glass before putting them in the recycling - if you don't the product is not only contaminated but really unpleasant for the workers sorting it!
- Flatten cardboard and paper - decreases the volume and makes it easier to handle.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the change?
Plastics 1 and 2 in green recycling crate. No change to glass. Plastics 3 to 7 are not recyclable. Please put these into your general waste (rubbish). OR don't buy/use these products at all.
Don't buy or use plastics 3 to 7 products. Three top tips: 1. Use honeywrap or lilybee wrap rather than GLAD cling wrap. 2. Stop using plastic bags for supermarket shopping, use the cloth reusable ones 3. Use the reusable cloth bags for your fruit and veg at the supermarket.
Why has this changed?
This is not a Council driven change. The change is due to world markets no longer accepting these plastics for recycling. Our Council simply can't get rid of them so we need to stop collecting them as recycling. Currently Council is doing education on this topic. It is possible that in the future we are going to have to stop collecting crates that are contaminated with Plastics 3 - 7. There will be significant promotion around this before we roll this out.
Are other district councils in New Zealand still collecting these plastics?
We don't know, however our understanding is that most councils have stopped or are in the process of stopping collecting Plastics 3 - 7. Even if some councils are still collecting these at this point in time, they will likely end up landfilling at some stage. We believe it is best to appropriately sort at the kerbside.
Is this change permanent?
Likely yes, we will continue to keep an eye on world markets, but plastics are definitely a problem for our world going forward. Plastics are simply not sustainable.
What is the cost to Council to redirect collected plastics 3 - 7 to landfill?
It costs around $27,000 for Council to redirect collected plastics to landfill.
How do I know if a plastic product is recyclable or not?
Look for this symbol (image) on the product, usually on the bottom. If it has a number 1 or 2 in the middle, it is recyclable; if it has any other number, or no number, it is not.
What is central government's responsibility around this?
Local government has advocated central government review its Packaging Accord to better manage plastics. Very little has been done to date in this area. It is possible that the current problem with plastics may force a review of the New Zealand Waste Strategy (2010) to include a range of actions that Government could take.
How can I find out more about going plastic free entirely?
Visit the Plastic Free July website here.
What are the common plastics 3 - 7 that are no longer recyclable?
See table above.
Can I recycle [product/brand]?
It is very difficult for staff to advise on individual products as different brands and products use different plastics. Please look for the recycling symbol. It is usually on the bottom of the container. If there is a 1 or 2 in the middle of the symbol, it can be recycled. Any other number or no number, please put in general waste. Do not put this in your crate or in the rural recycling station.
Is GLAD cling wrap recyclable?
No, GLAD cling wrap is a soft plastic which many of the plastics 3 - 7 are. It cannot be recycled. Look for alternatives like Lilybee wrap or similar. They are more expensive, but they are reusable for up to a year. Visit these websites - Lilybee Wrap or Honeywrap or similar product website.
Similar wrap can be homemade too.
Does this apply to the recycling drop-off zones?
Yes. Signage has been installed to assist.
Does this affect other products?
No other product that is currently recycled in our district - glass, paper, cardboard, tins, aluminium cans - is affected by this change in markets.
What about Council's own plastic rubbish bags?
On the surface it would seem a logical step for Council to move to an alternative for our rubbish bags. Rest assured we do keep an eye on these markets for a suitable replacement product.
Unfortunately the obvious answers - paper or biodegradable plastic might not be the solution one would think or hope for.
When paper bags are left kerbside in rainy weather, they get wet and break. As we can imagine, this would create a significant amount of mess, time to clean up and cost for Council and the ratepayer during the collection day. Rubbish bags contain refuse that needs to go to landfill. If we used paper bags, the paper would breakdown, adding to leachate and gases within the landfill.
Similarly, there a lot of research has been done into biodegradable and compostable plastics and some research shows too that the chemicals involved in making these biodegradable plastics are not very good for the environment either, as the material breaks down.
Wheelie bins would solve the problem of plastic bags however wheelie bins for refuse are costly. Council is currently looking into this.
Council will continue to keep an eye on these markets for a product that can possibly replace our plastic bags at a cost that is reasonable for our ratepayers, in the future. We do note that plastic is a menace in the environment when it gets into our verges, stormwater, streams, rivers and oceans. Because our rubbish bags go straight to the landfill; at the very least this plastic is contained and not affecting our general environment. We acknowledge and appreciate that encouraging people to stop buying plastic bags, while continuing to use plastic Council refuse bags is quite conflicting.