Wastebusters are partnering with Waste Management
May 6 2019 by Gina Dempster, Communications Manager for Wastebus
Wastebusters are partnering with Waste Management to deliver the new waste services contract for the Queenstown Lakes district. Wastebusters job to help residents and tourists use the new recycling and rubbish service effectively, and to move our district towards zero waste.
For nearly two decades Western countries have exported recycling to China, much of it dirty and contaminated. Last year, China drastically reduced the materials they will take, causing stockpiles of recycling around the world, including mixed paper and some plastics. It’s painful in the short-term, but necessary for the future of recycling. Nobody wants to use dirty and contaminated recycling to make new products. Not all packaging materials are used in big enough quantities to make recycling economically viable. Some materials are technically easier to recycle than others. For recycling to work, these facts need to be integrated into packaging design. This is starting to happen as more companies make better-informed packaging choices.
Meanwhile councils and recyclers are doing their best with never-ending flows of packaging. How to collect recycling is a critical piece of the jigsaw which councils can control. QLDC will collect glass separately for kerbside recycling as part of the new service starting 1 July. That is the first step towards glass being recycled, but the system also depends on us all putting only glass bottles and jars in our blue kerbside bins. Business recycling services will also have to collect glass separately after 1 July. Recycling is a relatively new industry and we’re seeing teething pains as it matures. But don’t lose faith. If all parts of the recycling supply chain work together, we’ll end up with a viable and transparent recycling system which can support the shift to a circular economy
How the new recycling system works. Only glass bottles and jars can be recycled in the blue glass wheelie bin. All other types of glass, like drinking glasses, Pyrex and window glass have to go in the rubbish bin as they create flaws in recycled glass. We also have to keep other contaminants out of the glass recycling bin, like lids and plastic.
The stickers and heat stamps on the new blue recycling bin show that it is for glass bottles and jars only. Because glass recycling is especially sensitive to contamination, this information is critical to the success of the new service. All the new wheelie bins have an RFID code which stops the bins being lost. The new blue glass bin looks similar to the old mixed recycling bin, but these differences meant it was important to replace the blue recycling bin for all households.
The old recycling bins won’t go to landfill; after 1 July they can be repurposed if useful or dropped off at the Frankton transfer station to be recycled. Blue rubbish bags will also be outdated after 1 July, and there won’t be any refunds for them. The new bins are being delivered to households now, but we need to keep using our old bins/blue bags until new collections start on 1 July.
Gina Dempster, Communications Manager for Wastebusters