Where your recycling goes

Recycling is collected from the kerbside by Envirowaste and taken to one of Oji Fibre Solutions’ sorting and baling plants in Seaview. It is then sorted into big bins and baled ready for transport.

Plastic

  • Clear PET (Plastic Grade 1), e.g. plastic clear bottles and clear containers, will now be processed in Wellington by Flight Group Ltd. These will be recycled into food grade packaging.
  • The majority of milk bottles go to Budget Plastics in Palmerston North, where it is reprocessed into bin liners or plastic feedstock for local plastic manufacturers.
  • PET/HDPE coloured and mixed plastics (3-7) are currently sent offshore to Malaysia for recycling, and is reprocessed into plastic pellets which will be used in manufacturing new products.

Cans and tins

Aluminium and steel cans go to Macaulay Metals, and are then sent overseas to be reprocessed.

Glass

The colour sorted glass goes to O-I New Zealand, in Auckland. The glass is then mixed with other raw materials and fed into a furnace where it is melted down to make bottles and jars.

Paper and cardboard

  • Paper goes to the Oji Fibre Solutions mill in Penrose, Auckland (this mill uses 100% recovered paper to make corrugated cardboard).
  • Cardboard goes to the Oji Fibre Solutions mill in Kinleith, Tokoroa (this mill uses recycled cardboard and new wood fibres to make new cardboard).
Recycling sorting plant in Toop Road, Seaview.

Recycling sorting plant in Toop Road, Seaview

Resize

Soft plastic

When recycling is collected there needs to be a viable market available for the materials to be sold on. Soft plastic is very cheap to make and buy new, so there isn’t much demand for the materials to be recycled on.

The Packaging Forum have a soft plastic recycling scheme which is subsidised by MFE.

What happens to non-recyclables that are collected?

Any item that is collected and can’t be recycled is separated out and sent to landfill. Key issues the recycling team report are:

  • Glass being put in the bags and wheelie bins instead of the crates, and plastic being put in the crates with glass.
  • Polystyrene and food are the two most common contaminates found in the bins and bags – food like pizza in pizza boxes, or food left in plastic food containers. If the contamination is bad the recycling won’t be collected at all and the resident will be notified with a sticker on the bin.