Thanks Tauranga, together, we’ve nearly halved our household waste going to landfill.
That’s the message from Tauranga City Council just over a year after launching their new rates-funded kerbside service, adding food scraps, recycling, rubbish, and optional garden waste bins to the existing glass recycling collections.
Sustainability and Waste Manager Sam Fellows says that collectively the community have made a massive difference.
“We put this success down to a fantastic effort by the people of Tauranga to embrace the changes, and use the new service correctly, as well as more households using our food scraps and garden waste collections than expected. Almost halving the amount of waste going to landfill within a year is a really impressive result.”
Team Leader of Waste Operations Hope Lawsen says less food scraps and garden waste are showing up in rubbish bins, and by putting these into the food scraps and garden waste bins, they get turned into nutrient-rich compost that’s used on orchards and farms across the Bay of Plenty and Waikato instead.
"Households across the city have adapted quickly to the new service, helped along the way by our friendly bin inspector, who walks up to 45 kilometres each week through the streets of Tauranga to double check the right things are going into the recycling bins – leaving behind information for those who still need a bit of a hand.”
Hope says it hasn’t all been smooth sailing though, as staff shortages due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak in March and April led to disruptions in the glass recycling and food scraps collections, and a decrease in use of the food scraps collections by our community once the service was able to continue.
“We hope residents who understandingly became frustrated when the food scraps collections stopped will feel re-energised to give it another go when they see what a difference it has made.”
Being picked up by the truck is just the start of the journey.
The vast majority of plastics collected in the yellow-lidded bins (numbers 1, 2 and 5) are transformed into new things like food containers, detergent bottles and products for the building industry – right here in New Zealand.
Bottles and jars collected in glass recycling bins are melted down to make new ones in Auckland, and paper, cardboard, tins, and cans are also recycled into new paper, cardboard, and metal products.
Sam says the collection truck drivers are the unsung heroes of the service and residents can make their job easier by doing a few simple things.
“Tauranga relies on our truck drivers to get the job done, and they’ve gone above and beyond in what has been a challenging first year due to COVID-19. To help them out, make sure your bin lids can close, leave 30 centimetres between bins, ensure bins are well clear of power poles, cars, and letterboxes, and put smaller bins like food scraps and glass to the right when you’re facing the road, so they’re more easily seen.”
For those households wanting to change their bin sizes, there will be another chance from early next year onwards. Keep an eye out for details on our website, sign up for the kerbside updates email, or download and turn on notifications on the Tauranga kerbside collections app for a reminder. If you don’t already have the app, download it today from the App Store or Google Play to receive bin day reminders on your phone.