- Clear PET (Plastic Grade 1), e.g. plastic clear bottles and clear containers, is processed in Wellington by Flight Group Ltd. These are recycled into food grade packaging.
- Opaque and white plastic number 2 (HDPE) e.g. the majority of milk bottles, goes to Budget Plastics in Palmerston North, where it is reprocessed into bin liners or plastic feedstock for local plastic manufacturers.
- Coloured plastic numbers 1 & 2 (PET/HDPE) and plastic number 5 (PP) is currently sent overseas for recycling, and is reprocessed into plastic pellets which will be used in manufacturing new products.
We are working hard to find partners within New Zealand who can process our recyclables into new materials, so in future we won’t need to send anything overseas.
Cans and tins
Aluminium and steel cans go to Macaulay Metals, and are then sent overseas to be reprocessed.
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
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.