Despite being classified as an essential service, Ministry for the Environment advice was, and continues to be, no manual handling of recycling.
Unfortunately sorting mixed recyclables like tin, plastics 1 and 2, paper and cardboard is currently a manual process so these materials could not be collected during the lockdown – this won’t change in alert level 3.
Early on we were able to source a facility in Auckland that could process glass. Glass does not break down in landfill and returning glass to the furnace to make new glass is still accepted as the best outcome. This means that if everyone puts out glass only in their recycling crates it can be taken by Council contractors and recycled. But we do need everyone doing this. If too many people continue to be put plastics, cardboard and tin in their crates it will be sent to landfill as it cannot be manually sorted.
We’re slowly seeing some changes in our community on this with more and more households putting out glass only. From next week – Monday 27 April – only glass will be picked up. Recycling crates which have mixed recycling will be left and you’ll need to put this in your rubbish. We’re not keen on people stockpiling their recycling due to the health and safety risks and when full recycling services resume the system won’t be able to cope with large amounts of material.
So come on Lower Hutt let’s do this. Recycle your glass and put the rest in your rubbish bin in the meantime.
Rubbish collection is an essential service so this has continued throughout the lockdown and will carry on into other alert levels.
For tips on how to reduce waste go to sortwaste.nz