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We’re hitting the road to help Tauranga recycle better

Recycle bin

With rubbish and recycling services back to normal and restrictions easing under Alert Level 2, council will resume checking recycling bins for incorrect or unwashed materials this week.  

We’ll be randomly checking the yellow-lid recycling bins and assigning a different coloured tag, depending on how well the household has recycled:   

  • A green tag will be given to those who have recycled well.
  • An orange tag will be given to those who need to improve.
  • A red tag will be given to those who have too many incorrect or unwashed items in their bin and their bin will not be collected.

The orange and red tags will include what residents need to do to improve the quality of their recycling.

“A common issue we see is soft plastics in the recycling bin, things like chip packets and plastic bags. If we spot a recycling bin with soft plastics in it, we place a tag on the bin and ask the household not to put them in next time,” said Sam Fellows Sustainability and Waste Manager.

Those who receive red tags will not have their recycling collected and will need to sort their recycling better before their next collection.

Recycling bins that are contaminated with unwashed or incorrect items can result in whole truckloads of recyclable materials being sent to landfill. This is a waste of valuable resources and is bad for the environment.  

The recycling bin should only be used for washed plastic bottles and containers labelled 1, 2 and 5 as well as paper, cardboard, tins and cans. Those who put glass in their recycling bin at Alert Level 4 remove it and place it in the blue glass bin if possible.  

Prior to Alert Level 4, 53% of what council collected from the kerbside was recycled or composted, which meant Tauranga was on track to halve what households send to landfill by 2028.

“Alert Level 4 restrictions were just a small detour on our journey to sending less to landfill. With a focus on educating our residents on what good recycling habits look like, we will be able to get back to composting more and recycling better at Alert Level 2,” said Sam.

Sam said that people should also consider what they can reduce, such as disposable coffee cups. 

“We’ve probably all had a cheeky coffee in a disposal cup under Alert Level 3, but these cups can’t be recycled, they have to go in the rubbish bin. See if your local cafe will take a reusable coffee cup instead, now that restrictions have eased.”

Council would also like to encourage residents to start using their food scraps bin again, as this is one of Tauranga’s biggest waste problems, making up 33% of what households sent to landfill in 2020.

You can also check what goes in each bin and download our comprehensive disposal guide

Rubbish and recycling services at Alert Level 2 

  • Transfer stations are now open for all services, delays are still expected due to continued safety precautions.
  • All kerbside bins are collected as normal, glass is now sorted by our drivers into colours before being recycled.
  • Assisted service and bin deliveries continue.
  • Tauranga households with excess waste from Alert Level 4 restrictions can take two bags of excess waste transfer station for free until 5pm Tuesday, 14 September.


Posted: Sep 9, 2021,
Categories: General,

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