Rubbish & Recycling
South Waikato District Council is currently consulting on household waste options. Consultation closes on Friday 8 November, 4pm.
Please follow this link to the community engagement page.
Rubbish and Recycling time change
Just a reminder that our collection start time has changed from 8am to 7.30am. Please make sure your bags and crates on kerbside by that time.
Recycling processing change
The new recycling contactor EnviroWaste is running two recycling collection trucks.
One truck is dedicated to glass only.
The second truck collects plastics, tins/cans and cardboard/paper.
Don’t be concerned if only some of your recycling goes, the second truck will be along.
Also don’t be concerned if the crew on the ground sort through your recycling. They’re just taking the items that belong in the the truck they’re on!
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.