A big first year for Tauranga‘s glass recycling

File Image/SunLive.

Tauranga City Council’s glass recycling service is celebrating its first anniversary with some stellar results.

In its first year, the kerbside glass collection easily achieved its goal of stopping 6000 tonnes of glass from unnecessarily going into landfill, collecting a total of 6622 tonnes.

A total of 3313 tonnes of household glass was collected from the kerbside – more than double the amount collected under previous kerbside glass recycling collections run by the private sector. An additional 3309 tonnes was collected at the transfer stations.

An estimated 54 per cent more residents are now taking part in recycling glass in Tauranga since the introduction of the service.

“I’m happy with [the kerbside glass collection service] because I don’t drive, so I’ve got no way of taking my glass to the transfer station to be recycled,” says a resident from The Lakes, Diana.

Diana also makes an extra effort to co-ordinate with her neighbour, so they only put one bin out between them when they have a small amount of glass, ‘saving [the glass collection truck] from stopping and starting the vehicle every time’, she says.

Another resident who is pleased with the service is Tom Stewart from Greerton.

“It’s good the council stepped in to collect glass for recycling,” says Tom.

“Its common sense really to take care of your waste and the council is helping by offering recycling options.”

Tom also enjoys a chat with William Kuka, who collects the glass in Tom’s area every second Wednesday.

“It’s nice to see someone do their job with a smile,” says Tom.                     

Based on data supplied by private waste companies, an estimate 1440 tonnes of household glass was collected under previous private kerbside collections each year. Of that, only 40-60 per cent ended up being recycled as a result of the co-mingled collection process – as the broken glass is unable to be recycled and also contaminates the other recyclables it is collected with, like paper and cardboard.

Under the new service, 100 per cent of the glass collected gets recycled. The higher recycling rate is due to the collection process, where the glass is hand sorted into different colours at the kerbside.

“We’re very pleased with the result and the community’s response to our glass collection service,” says acting manager of sustainability and waste, Malcom Gibb.

“The bottom line is that if we hadn’t stepped in and provided the kerbside service to the community when private waste collectors decided to stop collecting glass for recycling, a large proportion of this glass would have ended up in landfill unnecessarily.

“It’s a credit to the community that they have embraced the service and helped us reach our target. We also couldn’t have reached this important milestone without our partnership with Smart Environmental, who deliver the service within the community on our behalf,” says Malcolm.

Newly elected Mayor, Tenby Powell also shared his view on the successful first year.

“I’m delighted to hear how the community has supported the glass recycling service, as it’s an important step in reducing the amount of unnecessary household waste we are currently sending to landfill.

“Better environmental management is critical to our city and wider region, and this is a great example of Tauranga working together.”

For more information about the glass collection service and collection days in your area, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/glass

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Posted on 31-10-2019 15:55 | By Eric Bantona

Your name sums you up. You’re the kind of person that people need to wipe off before flushing. I have a blue bin - I collect glass but it is only full probably once every 2-3 months. I then put it out when full. I don’t mind paying my rates that includes this even though I don’t use it every week because there is something called collective responsibility which for recycling means that as a society we do as much as we can to recycle. Some users may put out their bins once a week, great. Just because I don’t need to does not excuse the need to recycle and more importantly this scheme ensures and tries to enforce that our society as a whole, recycles responsibly. Stop being lazy, you pay for it anyway so use it.

Lacks Common Sense

Posted on 31-10-2019 15:00 | By Frostbite

During the busy Christmas period this was a PR disaster. Bins were filled by well meaning visitors trying to do the right thing. What did they get a yellow sticker ( Fail ) Bin over full. There needs to be some flexibility in this contract at busy times of the year in a Holiday City.

A handy seat.

Posted on 31-10-2019 13:51 | By clingon

I have never used my cute little blue glass recycling bin for it’s intended purpose because I hardly have any glass to recycle. When I get the occasional glass jam jar I just toss it in with the general rubbish because we were told not to put our bins out unless they were at least half full. It would take a couple of years to half fill mine, I can only eat so much jam. Meanwhile it’s just the right height to sit on while polishing my car’s wheels.

Waste of money...

Posted on 31-10-2019 13:03 | By jed

I already pay for rubbish collection -- now, I also have to pay for bottle collection in rates. This is the stupidest council scheme for a long time. They should at least allow ratepayers to opt out.

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