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Bin checks starting this month to improve recycling - QLDC

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) will start a kerbside recycling bin check trial this month to help reduce contamination.

Bin checkers will be out on the streets lifting the lid on yellow kerbside recycling bins and looking at items in the bin.

Bins will then be stickered as either superstar recycler, almost awesome, or contaminated recycling. Where bin checkers find contamination, they will leave an information pack attached to the bin which will provide the household with information on how to recycle with care.

If a bin is heavily contaminated with rubbish, it will not be emptied because it will contaminate the recycling in the truck. In this case, the bin will be stickered and left at the kerbside. It’s up to the resident to remove all the contamination before they put their bin back out again on their next collection day.

QLDC Waste Minimisation Officer Kath Buttar said the purpose of the bin checks is to help improve the standard of recycling in the district.

"Most people are doing a really good job at recycling and we know it’s something many people in our community care about, but unfortunately we are still seeing some contamination coming through our sorting facility. It’s really important that we have a high quality of recycling so that we meet the strict standards set by our recycling reprocessors and enable collected materials to be turned into new products," said Ms Buttar.

"Putting the wrong items in recycling bins not only makes it harder to meet recycling quality standards, but it also impacts the recycling crew at the Queenstown Wakatipu Recycling Centre who hand-sort all kerbside recycling. We want to stop rubbish or dirty recycling going in the recycling bin to make their job easier and more pleasant."

"Lots of councils across Aotearoa New Zealand do bin checks, however this will be our first time. Checking the bins of individual households and providing targeted feedback is shown to be one of the best ways we can communicate with people and lift our recycling standards."

Ms Buttar said the checks will start this month and take place across the district. Bin checkers will be out in the early morning before the rubbish and recycling trucks do their rounds.

It’s important to note that staff will not be going through the whole bin, nor will they tip the contents onto the footpath. Bin checkers will be wearing high-vis vests with Save Our Stuff logos.

Ms Buttar encouraged anyone who is unsure about what to recycle to check out the Council’s website, or to call the recycling hotline, (03) 4410499 (Queenstown) or (03) 443 0024 (Wānaka). 

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