Recycling Update

25 January 2011

This year the way households recycle will change. In April/May we are introducing free 140-litre wheelie bins for recycling paper, metals, plastic, and bags for areas where we are unable to safely collect wheelie bins.

Recycling wheelie bins.

Recycling wheelie bins.

Glass will be collected in your existing green recycling crate. Most of you would have received a letter late last year saying whether or not your property was assessed as suitable to receive a wheelie bin and asking if you wanted to opt-out of the scheme.

Those who opt-out of having a recycling bin, or live on a property assessed as having poor access or terrain, will instead be provided with plastic bags for their recycling.

Our original assessments were undertaken by a desktop property analysis and using feedback from our rubbish and recycling collectors.

CitiOperations Manager Mike Mendonca says following overwhelming feedback from residents a visual assessment of the properties has been undertaken.

CitiOps staff have been out and about over the past few months doing visual assessments of the properties to validate our data, cross-reference it with feedback we received from residents and ensure we get it right before delivery of the bins.

"Although we were confident of our data, we underestimated how passionately Wellingtonians feel about recycling and we felt it was right to check our facts and assumptions," says Mike.

"We will be sending out letters in early March to those households whose assessment has changed, or where they have disputed our original assessment."

The bins will be delivered over six weeks during April/May with recycling collections beginning in May.

Mike says the project is a huge logistical undertaking which involves not only assessing properties but also the design and construction of a fleet of more than a dozen recycling collection trucks as well as manufacturing and distributing the bins and bags.

"It's a big project and timelines have shifted out so we're asking people to bear with us as we work to get it right."

Mike says they have already received positive feedback from people who took part in a wheelie bin trial late last year.

"A lot of people commented on how easy it was to use the bin, not having to sort the paper, cardboard, metals and plastic, and the fact things didn't get blown away in the wind.

"Participants did say it will take a bit of getting used to, especially that glass is being collected in the existing green recycling crates on alternate weeks to the wheelie bin. However, they are willing to make that change.

"We'll send everyone a calendar with information about what can and can't be recycled.

"The reason glass is separated and collected on alternate weeks is to ensure that glass does not contaminate the other recyclables such as cardboard and paper, which can reduce the use and value of that material. Glass will also be sorted by colour to make sending it for processing quicker and more efficient.

Mike says he will be incorporating feedback from the trial into the big roll-out.

"People said they wanted to be able to recycle all grades of plastic so we will now be doing this."

However he won't be able to help with one resident's request. "One person asked us to supply an elephant for can-squashing duties.

"Overall we are really pleased with the feedback. Participants said it encouraged them to recycle more, made the process of recycling easier, cleaner and faster and that they are looking forward to the new service."

For more information phone (04) 499 4444 or view our website.