Plastic recycling in Kaitaia

Plastic Free July might well be ending today but the need to reduce our reliance upon plastic hasn’t. There are lots of things you can do not just in terms of avoiding plastic (see our earlier post with suggestions as to where to shop etc locally) but recycling the stuff we can’t avoid.

What many people don’t realise is that we can now recycle any plastic numbered 1-6, and wait for it… soft plastics! Put them in your recycling bin or take them to the Refuse Transfer Station off Church Road. Basically soft plastic is any plastic bags that don’t ‘crinkle’, and no gladwrap either. No cellophane, but plastic shrinkwrap film, bubblewrap, biscuit wrappers etc are all okay. If you aren’t sure about something put it in your recycle bin anyway! Unfortunately multilayered plastics like tetra-paks and plastic lined paper or foil still can’t be recycled, but hey it’s a start.

Please do make sure everything you put in the recycling is washed clean though, there are people working hard sorting the recyling by hand, food left in recycling goes off and poses a health hazard to those workers and so such waste ends up being put in landfill including anything that has been contaminated by being in the same bin/bag.

If you can’t afford a recycling bin yourself team up with a neighbour or whānau and split the cost between you, or buddy up to take it down to Church Road.

There is good news about recycling batteries too, these are now getting sent to Australia and properly recycled rather than just encased in concrete and dumped in landfill. You might have seen adverts for batteries with a percentage of recycled battery components in them, this is what has upped the demand. Don’t put them loose in your recycling bin though as they can easily fall through the holes in the bottom of your bin or get caught up in other recycling and might not get spotted. So either collect them up and bag them or pop them in a tub first, or drop them off at Church Road.

It is really important to keep plastic out of landfill where the chemicals it is made of leach into the soil and ground water, and especially to stop it ending up in our waterways and moana.

Photo: one week’s worth of plastic collected at Ahipara ramp by a local college student

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AUTHOR: Eco Centre
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