Rubbish & recycling  |  16 Apr 2020

Christchurch residents are being urged not to stockpile their recycling, including glass, at home.

Christchurch City Council has temporarily paused its processing of recycling because of the global and local impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

Yellow recycling bins are still being collected from kerbsides around the city but for a short time the contents are going into landfill. This is because of the risk to staff having to handle recycling, an increase in incorrect items going into yellow bins, and limited access to overseas markets.

Holding on to glass bottles and jars and other recyclables in the hope they can be processed when the current pandemic restrictions are lifted is not a good idea, says the Council’s Resource Recovery Manager Ross Trotter.

“In other regions where glass collected is sent to a manufacturer to be made into recycled glass products people are being asked to stockpile their bottles and jars. But glass collected locally, from Christchurch and Banks Peninsula, is sent to a construction company to be used in material for road construction, so our situation is quite different.

“If a lot of people start stockpiling their glass and other recycling, our plant and kerbside collection won’t be able to cope with the increased amount when we start our normal service again. There’s also a concern that if residents start holding on to containers that aren’t properly cleaned they could become a health risk or contaminate other recycling.

“If people don’t have a lot of space and items are squashed down to make them smaller, they can’t be properly sorted and processed by our machinery.”

His clear message is that people should continue to sort their recycling and put it all in the yellow bin as they usually would.

“What we’re asking everyone to do is, continue to use your three bins as normal. Put rinsed recycling in your yellow bin and put it out on your regular yellow bin collection day.

Mr Trotter says the Council wants to resume recycling as soon as possible and it’s important people maintain their good recycling habits, as Council will only be able to recycle if the contents of the yellow bins are clean and free of general waste.

“We know people want to do the right thing, and in this situation, it’s to keep up the usual routine.”

Check here for more information on Council rubbish and recycling services.