At deliberations on the Tauranga City Council 2018-2028 Long Term Plan (LTP) last week, the mayor and councillors collectively voted to introduce two kerbside recycling and rubbish collection services.
Starting in October this year, an interim rates-funded glass collection service will be introduced to address the lack of a kerbside glass recycling solution following the decision of private waste companies to stop collecting glass at the kerbside in March this year.
A full kerbside waste and recycling service, which takes longer to implement, will be introduced to all residential properties in 2021.
Resource Recovery and Waste Manager, Rebecca Maiden, was very pleased with the decisions to include the services in the LTP.
“These services will enable and encourage Tauranga residents to recycle more and send less waste to landfill.
"Currently nearly 70 per cent of the kerbside waste Tauranga sends to landfill could be recycled or composted so it’s definitely time for us to do better,” Ms Maiden said.
“The Council-led kerbside services will provide rubbish and recycling bins to every household in Tauranga making it easy for everyone to recycle.
"And with management of Tauranga’s waste stream, Council will have greater influence over the range of materials that can be recycled at the kerbside (such as food waste, glass, and plastics 3-7), which has not been possible with privately-led collection services."
The Council collection service for glass bottles and jars will run in conjunction with the current private kerbside rubbish and recycling services starting from October this year until the full Council-led service is in place.
A grant of $165,000 from the Glass Packaging Forum has been provided to contribute to the cost of providing a glass recycling container to each residential property, and a Council application to the Ministry of the Environment has been submitted for further contribution.
Glass Packaging Forum Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon said the funding came from levies paid by members of the forum’s voluntary product stewardship scheme/
“The main aim of the scheme is to improve the quality and quantity of container glass available for recycling.
"This funding is product stewardship in action as it is the companies that make and sell glass helping to keep it out of landfill.
“We commend Tauranga City Council for acting so swiftly to ensure glass can be recycled and not sent to landfill,” Mr Salmon said.
Ms Maiden said the Glass Packaging Forum’s grant represents about a 25 per cent share of the glass recycling receptacle costs for the whole city, and has been gratefully received.
“A Council-led kerbside collection service is one of the key actions in Tauranga’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan to reduce our city’s waste to landfill.
"It’s great to have the go-ahead now to make it happen for the benefit of both the environment and the Tauranga community as a whole.”