Tauranga City Council’s glass recycling service is celebrating its first anniversary with some stellar results. In its first year, the kerbside glass collection easily achieved its goal of stopping 6,000 tonnes of glass from unnecessarily going into landfill, collecting a total of 6,622 tonnes.
A total of 3,313 tonnes of household glass was collected from the kerbside – more than double the amount collected under previous kerbside glass recycling collections run by the private sector. An additional 3,309 tonnes was collected at the transfer stations. An estimated 54% more residents are now taking part in recycling glass in Tauranga since the introduction of the service.
Diana, a resident from The Lakes, says “I’m happy with [the kerbside glass collection service] because I don’t drive, so I’ve got no way of taking my glass to the transfer station to be recycled.” Diana also makes an extra effort to co-ordinate with her neighbour, so they only put one bin out between them when they have a small amount of glass, “saving [the glass collection truck] from stopping and starting the vehicle every time”.
Another resident who is pleased with the service is Tom Stewart from Greerton. “It’s good the council stepped in to collect glass for recycling” Tom says. “It’s common sense really to take care of your waste and the council is helping by offering recycling options.” Tom also enjoys a chat with William Kuka, who collects the glass in Tom’s area every second Wednesday. “It’s nice to see someone do their job with a smile” said John.
Based on data supplied by private waste companies, an estimated 1,440 tonnes of household glass was collected under previous private kerbside collections each year. Of that, only 40-60% ended up being recycled as a result of the co-mingled collection process – as the broken glass is unable to be recycled and also contaminates the other recyclables it is collected with, like paper and cardboard.
Under the new service, 100% of the glass collected gets recycled. The higher recycling rate is due to the collection process, where the glass is hand sorted into different colours at the kerbside.
Malcolm Gibb, Acting Manager of Sustainability & Waste said “We’re very pleased with the result and the community’s response to our glass collection service. The bottom line is that if we hadn’t stepped in and provided the kerbside service to the community when private waste collectors decided to stop collecting glass for recycling, a large proportion of this glass would have ended up in landfill unnecessarily. It’s a credit to the community that they have embraced the service and helped us reach our target. We also couldn’t have reached this important milestone without our partnership with Smart Environmental, who deliver the service within the community on our behalf.”
Newly elected Mayor, Tenby Powell, also shared his view on the successful first year “I’m delighted to hear how the community has supported the glass recycling service, as it’s an important step in reducing the amount of unnecessary household waste we are currently sending to landfill. Better environmental management is critical to our city and wider region, and this is a great example of Tauranga working together.”
For more information about the glass collection service and collection days in your area, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/glass