Rubbish & recycling  |  10 May 2019

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel is welcoming Government efforts to address New Zealand’s recycling issues and in particular our reliance on off-shore markets

Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage has today released more details of the work the Ministry for the Environment is doing to deal with waste in New Zealand.

Inside Christchurch's recycling plant.

Inside's Christchurch's recycling plant.

That work includes undertaking feasibility studies around how to increase New Zealand’s fibre (paper and cardboard) processing and plastic reprocessing capacity.

The Ministry’s work programme is based on eight recommendations from the National Resource Recovery Taskforce that was set up to last year to improve kerbside and commercial recycling, reduce contamination of recyclables and increase onshore processing of recyclable materials.

Christchurch City Council staff have been part of the taskforce and have helped in formulating the Ministry’s approach.

“We have a great kerbside recycling scheme in Christchurch and an engaged community who want to reduce the amount of waste that ends up at the landfill. We have stable markets for the high-grade recyclables we collect at the kerbside but it is an ongoing challenge to find markets for mixed grades of plastics and paper,’’ says Mayor Dalziel.

“For a long time we, and other Councils, have been concerned about our reliance on off-shore markets – some of which are now closed to us - so I am very pleased to see the focus the Ministry is placing on developing sustainable, circular economy solutions. 

“It is crucial that we find ways of dealing with our recycling onshore. The work the Ministry is doing is a positive step forward and Christchurch City Council looks forward to continuing to work with the Ministry for the Environment on how we can manage our recycling onshore.’’