Recycling Collection Changes

21 March 2011

From Wednesday 30 March, the new 140-litre wheelie bins for recycling paper, metals and plastics will start to be delivered to households.

Households outside the CBD will get a wheelie bin or recycling bags

Wellington residents will get either bags or a wheelie bin for their recycling

For those properties which have been assessed as unsuitable for receiving a wheelie bin due to terrain and/or access problems, an initial supply of 26 recycling bags will be delivered instead, with more available if required.

Wellington City Council's CitiOperations Manager Mike Mendonca says around 34,000 households will receive a wheelie bin, however some properties are still being assessed on a case-by-case basis for suitability.

"Our original assessment was based on a computer mapping system and recycling collector knowledge. We have since completed a visual assessment of properties considering factors such as exposure to high winds, steep streets that will not allow bins to be left safely before and after collection, difficult truck access, narrow roads and no access.

"As a result of this more detailed assessment, a number of people who were told they were getting a wheelie bin will now be getting recycling bags. We understand this may be disappointing to some people, but the success of this service relies on our collectors being able to safely and efficiently access and empty the bins. We also need to ensure that the wheelie bins do not create a hazard for the public.

"Also we will be reviewing collecting recycling and rubbish from private streets because of difficulties with access, liabilities and growing concerns at the hazards to workers in private streets.

"There will be some trial and error with introducing the new system and we don't expect it to be perfect on day one. We will review the collection system after six months to make sure all households that can use a wheelie bin safely have been issued one," says Mike.

The bags and bins will be delivered over a period of six weeks and will come with an information brochure and collection calendar. The new kerbside recycling collection service will begin from 16 May and Mike says it's important people do not put their wheelie bin or recycling bags out before this date.

"The delivery of the bins and bags is the first stage of the project and due to the sheer scale will take up to six weeks to complete," says Mike.

Mike says the information brochure will explain how the new service will work and what can and can't be recycled.

"You should hang on to your existing green recycling crate because you'll need it to put out glass every second week.

"People's recycling collection day will remain the same - however the wheelie bins and bags will be collected on alternate weeks to the glass recycling crate. People will need to refer to the calendar they receive to see which recycling to put out each week. We encourage people to read the information pack that comes with the bin and bags and keep it for future reference.

"Half the city will start with the glass crate collection and the other half will start with the wheelie bin and bag collection, so we have split the city into two collection calendars.

"We are one of the first councils in New Zealand to collect glass separately to other recycling waste and have specially designed trucks for this. This is so we can process it in New Zealand and increase its value by avoiding cross-contamination with other recycling."

The change to a bigger recycling bin is expected to increase recycling in the city by about 40 percent, and reduce the risk of injury for the workers who lift the bins.

Another benefit is that almost all of the city's recyclables will be processed in New Zealand, further reducing the impact of waste on the environment.