Improving recycling in Taranaki

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In an effort to improve Stratford’s recycling program, Envirowaste has begun to do random checks of recycling bins in conjunction with the recycling bin pick ups. This check will be an ongoing project aimed to decrease contamination in recycling bins.

Nationally, the goal is set for contamination in recycling bins to be less than 8 per cent, and currently Taranaki kerbside recycling has a high amount of non-recyclables in it - about 15 per cent from all the recycling from South Taranaki, Stratford and New Plymouth districts. These findings have triggered this initiative, hoping that it will reduce the contamination in recycling bins each week, and educate residents about what can and can’t be recycled in the recycling bins.

Every street on an urban recycling collection in Taranaki will be audited over the coming 12 months. A tag will be left on the bins noting whether the recycling is excellent or if non-recyclable items were in there.  A green sticker means you have put the correct items in the recycling bin, an orange sticker is a warning to say there were a couple of items that did not fit the recycling criteria, and if the bin has over 10% of contaminated items in the bin, a red sticker will be issued and this will result in a non-collection. This will also be followed by a letter in the resident’s letterbox to explain the non-collection reasons. The most common non-recyclable items that end up in recycling bins are plastics - including plastic bags, plastic film, plastic packaging and plastics that have no recycling number - polystyrene and fabric.

This program has been implemented in other areas in New Zealand, and a marked improvement in recycling has been found in these areas.

In 2017, Stratford District Council created a recycling app to help residents know what is suitable to be included in their recycling bin. The SDC recycling app can be downloaded from the app store or google play for free, and contains a full list of items that can be recycled.

A full list of recyclable items can also be found on Council website, or a hard copy can be picked up from the Service Centre on Miranda Street.