New custom-built recycling trucks will be used for the new collection service
Around 34,000 households in Wellington city have now received the new 140-litre recycling wheelie bins. A further 26,000 have received recycling bags, mainly due to terrain or access issues.
Wellington City Council's CitiOperations Manager, Mike Mendonca, says the new collection service will take a bit of getting used to, but he is confident people will quickly adapt.
"People's recycling collection day will remain the same - however the wheelie bins and bags will be collected on alternate weeks to the green recycling crates, which will now be used only for glass.
"People should refer to the calendar they received with their bin or bags to see which recycling to put out each week. We have split the city into two collection calendars - half the city will start with the glass crate collection and the other half will start with the wheelie bin and bag collection.
Collection Calendar (127Kb PDF)
"It is important people don't put their bins or bags out before 16 May as they won't be collected."
Mike says 16 new custom-built trucks will be used for collection, including seven for glass collection, seven for other recycling and two smaller trucks for Wellington's more narrow and winding streets.
"The new low-entry single driver trucks will greatly reduce the need for manual handling and will improve worker safety - which was a major reason for the change," Mike says.
"Glass will be collected separately and sorted at the kerbside into its three basic colours - green, brown and clear. No further processing is required - the glass is transferred straight from the truck to a container to be shipped to Auckland.
"We are one of the first councils in New Zealand to collect glass separately to other recycling waste and the benefit is we can process it in New Zealand and increase its value by avoiding cross-contamination with other recycling.
"The trucks collecting plastic, paper, cardboard and aluminium cans use a completely different system that compacts the materials, allowing for a greater volume to be collected.
"All trucks have been specially designed to do everything on the left, so drivers can carry out all collections safely from the kerbside."
Mike says it is really important Wellingtonians read the information provided on what can and can't be recycled.
"The information brochure delivered with the bins explains how the new service will work.
"Paper, cardboard, clean plastic, and tins and cans are to be recycled in the wheelie bins and recycling bags. Only clean glass bottles and jars are to go in the recycling crates.
"We now recycle all plastic (grades 1 - 7), excluding polystyrene. Previously it was just grades 1 - 3.
"It's really important that Wellingtonians remember people will sort through their recycling, so we don't want to find any unsuitable material in there."
Mike says he does expect a few teething problems while the new system settles, however it will allow more recycling to be collected and processed. "We know we have some more work to do to balance the mix of wheelie bins and recycling bags and we will work on this over the next six months.
"We expect the change to a bigger recycling bin 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 the city's recyclables will now be processed in New Zealand, further reducing the impact of waste on the environment."
For further information on recycling - or if you still haven't received a bin or bags - call the Contact Centre on (04) 499 4444 or visit:
Suburban Collection Changes