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14 May 2020

Free green waste disposal part of new waste package

Free disposal of green waste, and cardboard and aluminium can recycling collection bins are among improvements to the Gore District Council’s waste management services to be introduced next month.

The changes are part of a review undertaken after the Council decided against renewing its recycling processing contract with Southland disAbility Enterprises Ltd (SdE), which runs out on 30 June.

The free green waste disposal, initiated under COVID-19 Alert level 3, will continue through to the new service starting on Monday 29 June.

Transport Manager Peter Standring said ending the relationship with SdE had given the Council the opportunity to rethink its recycling services.

“We were able to look at various options and come up with a solution to meet our community’s expectations and needs.”

The new service will see a change in the materials allowed in the yellow and red wheelie bins.

The yellow bin will be only for glass bottles and jars.

The red bin will be for household waste i.e. food waste, plastic, metal cans, paper, sanitary waste, rubbish.

There are no changes to the kerbside rubbish bin collection regime.  The wheelie bins will continue to be collected on alternate weeks (fortnightly) as usual.

Residents will be able to recycle cardboard through Pakeke Lions and there will be an aluminium can bank at the Gore transfer station. 

The Gore District generates about 675 tonnes of recycling a year. Glass makes up the majority at 47% or 317 tonnes.

Mr Standring said the Council appreciated recycling had become well established since it was introduced eight years ago.

Unfortunately, significant changes to global markets in recent year and the Covid-19 pandemic had further heightened concerns about the viability and sustainability of recycling, especially in relation to plastics and paper.

“It would be fair to say the global markets are in disarray. There are no longer identifiable markets for New Zealand’s plastic and mixed paper with the likes of China and India closing their borders to us.”

To stockpile these products above ground was not desirable from an environmental perspective, nor was it fiscally responsible or efficient, Mr Standring said.

Rubbish will continue to be sent to the Southland Regional Landfill. Glass bottles and jars would be stored locally in bunkers and ultimately crushed.

It is planned to have drop off bins for cardboard located at the Gore transfer station and in Mataura. The cardboard would continue to be recycled by Pakeke Lions. However, with a tightening of overseas markets, cardboard could also eventually end up in the landfill or stockpiled, he said.

Mr Standring acknowledged there might be some concerns about the capacity of the home red rubbish bins, given plastics and paper were being added to the mix.   

“Just as importantly, we now have the opportunity to increase public awareness and education around waste minimisation.”

The Council is working in collaboration with WasteNet Southland on waste reduction initiatives for the District.

“Allowing free disposal of green waste at the transfer station should alleviate any issues. It would be good to think people will also become a bit more serious about waste minimisation.”

Residents with 80-litre bins will have the option of paying extra for a larger bin if they need one.  Apart from that, there were no additional costs to residents as a result of the new service, he said.

Residents are urged to continue with their current recycling regime, as the contents of the yellow bins will still be sent to SdE’s recycling centre until the new services starts on Monday 29 June.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: info@goredc.govt.nz