Rubbish & recycling  |  21 Apr 2020

The processing plant that sorts the items put out for kerbside recycling in Christchurch is planning to re-start operations under Alert Level 3.

The right stuff to recycle

  • Clean cardboard
  • Clean paper
  • Aluminium cans
  • Clear and coloured glass bottles and jars (lids in red bin)
  • Metal tins
  • Coloured plastic containers e.g yoghurt containers, ice-cream containers, fabric softners (lids in red bin)
  • Aerosol cans
  • Clear or frosted plastic bottles e.g soft drink bottles, milk bottles (lids in red bin)
  • Empty household cleaning containers (lids in red bin)

Remember to give your bottles and containers a rinse, make sure they are loose, and put the lids in the red bin.

If you are uncertain about whether an item can be recycled, check on our website or download the handy wheelie bins app.

That means people will need to make sure that only the right stuff goes in their yellow bin.

“If there is waste, dirty material, liquids or other contamination in the recycling then we are unable to process material and our markets won’t buy it.

"For the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to operate successfully under Alert Level 3 we need everyone to take extra care with their recycling and only place the right materials in the yellow bin,'' says Christchurch City Council Resource Recovery Manager Ross Trotter.

“It is vital that only the right material goes into the yellow bins. If there is too much contaminated material in a truck load then that load will go to landfill.

“We need people to take responsibility for ensuring they only put the right stuff out for recycling. If they don’t and we get too much contaminated material in the bins, we will have to keep sending the contents of yellow bins to landfill,’’ Mr Trotter says.

“None of us want to see that happen, but it is going to take a collective effort to avoid that situation. It is more important than ever that you take care with your recycling and only put accepted items into the yellow bin.’’

There will be some temporary changes to what material people can put in their yellow bins because of changing market conditions.

“Uncertainty remains over access to our international market for mixed fibre, which is paper and cardboard. We want people to continue to put clean paper and cardboard into their yellow bin, but unfortunately this material may continue to be sent to landfill until this market becomes available.

“We have domestic markets though for clear rigid plastics, like soft drink bottles, frosty or opaque plastics like milk bottles, and coloured rigid plastics like ice-cream containers or yoghurt containers, so as we move to Alert Level 3 we are asking people to only put plastics numbered 1, 2 and 5 in the yellow bin,’’ Mr Trotter says.

The MRF plans to operate from Monday 4 May but people should start using their yellow bin correctly now.

Don't forget to space your bins apart

Mr Trotter says it is also important that people continue to space their bins apart when putting them out for kerbside collection.

“To protect staff, we want to reduce the need for our crews having to move the bins into the correct position so please space your bins at least half a metre apart from each other so the trucks can easily reach them.’’