The Capital’s residents do recycle about 12,000 tonnes of material a year, but with 84,000 tonnes of waste ending up at the Southern Landfill, the message isn’t getting through to everyone.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says things are improving but we could do much better. “We did a waste assessment analysis of official yellow rubbish bags in 2011 which showed up to half the contents were made up of paper, tins, cans, and plastic – all of which could be cleaned and recycled.”
“We work hard to keep everyone informed with regular communications about rubbish and recycling through our numerous channels. We also have an award winning iCalendar and free calendar available so people know the collection dates, and we’ve been delivering free packs of recycling bags to residents since 2011.”
Not every address will receive the free pack though, with inner-city residents having a different process for recycling, and with some streets on a blacklist because of ongoing rubbish offences.
The Council’s Environment Committee Chair, Councillor Iona Pannett, says a few bad apples have tainted it for everyone in the community.
“We know most residents are good recyclers, and their households may be doing everything right, but unfortunately too many residents in some streets have been using the green recycling bags to dispose of general household rubbish.
“This is a widespread problem in some areas, but we inform the neighbourhood of the situation and they can request the green bags through our service centre.”
The bags should be used for all recyclables except glass. Residents can have two glass crates per household. Extra bags and crates can be purchased at the Council service centre in Wakefield Street, extra bags cost $13 for 26, and crates cost $15 each.
Properties that have a Council wheelie bin also won’t receive green bags. Two bags equal one bin (140 litres), so everyone is able to recycle the same amount each fortnight.
Sorting our recycling – it’s the #wellyway.