Recycling Collection Changes

23 May 2011

Wellington City's new recycling system is now into its second week. After teething troubles and challenges in the first week, our new contractors are hitting their stride.

Workers sort through recycled cans, bottles, plastic and paper

Workers sort through recycled cans, bottles, plastic and paper

The Council's CitiOperations Manager, Mike Mendonca, says there has been confusion among some residents as everyone gets used to the new fortnightly collection rosters - but he is expecting the problems to drop away as the weeks go by.

"People's recycling collection day remains 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 received with their bin or bag to see which recycling to put out each week."

Mike urges people to go the Council's online information on the new recycling scheme.

Recycling - Suburban Collection Changes

Other residents have complained that they have yet to receive a new recycling wheelie bin or, alternatively, plastic recycling bags. Mike says his staff are working hard to make sure any "holes" in the delivery are covered this week.

"We hope to have bags or bins delivered to every resident this week - and we've got a team of people doorknocking in streets from where we've had complaints.

"But if anyone has still not received a bin or bags by today then they should call the Council on (04) 801 4205."

"To anyone who's been annoyed or frustrated by the new service in the past week, I apologise - but please rest assured that we're working hard to get things running smoothly."

While the residents who have received plastic recycling bags instead of wheelie bins may feel aggrieved, there are clear reasons - mainly relating to vehicle access and safety - why the Council can't allocate bins.

That being said, Mike says the new recycling system will be the focus of extensive rolling reviews over the next few months - and where it becomes evident that bins can be collected safely from streets or addresses previously allocated bags, then bins can be introduced.

"We are happy to compromise as long as it's safe," he says.

In the first week of the new system, our 12 collection trucks collected many tonnes of recycling from the wheelie bins, bags and crates.

Mike says some residents have been bemused that their recycling hasn't been collected in the mornings, as has been the case in the past. However he says the new crews are getting used to new routes and routines - and the new system is "deliberately" slower than the previous collection system, for safety reasons.

Once the truck drivers from EnviroWaste Services have picked up your recycling from the kerbside, they take it to Fullcircle Recycling's sorting and baling facility at Seaview.

There, a team of people sort the recyclables - separating the paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminium and steel. The recycled materials are then baled and transported to their next destination.

Glass doesn't have to be touched again by human hands once collected. It is shipped to Auckland where it is mechanically reprocessed into new bottles.

Mike says it's important Wellingtonians do their bit by making sure their recycling is clean and free from household rubbish.

"Everything you put out to be recycled - except the glass - is sorted by hand so spare a thought for the people at the other end.

"Clean recycling is also more valuable - which is why it's so important people make sure no rubbish is mixed up with their recycling."

For more information on individual companies involved in processing your recycling visit:

Fullcircle - Carter Holt Harvey website

Our Business - Carter Holt Harvey Pulp and Paper website

O-I New Zealand website