Rubbish & recycling  |  1 May 2020

Christchurch and Banks Peninsula residents are being reminded the only plastic items that should go in the yellow wheelie bin are rigid plastic bottles and containers marked with the numbers 1, 2 or 5.

All other plastic, including lids, should be disposed of in the red bin.

“Due to changes in the global markets for recycling we have had to make some changes to what plastics we can accept in the yellow wheelie bins,’’ says Christchurch City Council Resource Recovery Manager Ross Trotter.

“Rigid plastic bottles or containers that have the number 1, 2 or 5 printed on them – like soft-drink bottles, milk bottles, ice-cream containers, family-sized yoghurt tubs, and meat trays - can all be recycled.

“Just make sure you wash them before placing them in your yellow bin. Please don’t make the mistake of squashing them or bagging them up – they need to be loose. Lids should also be removed and placed in the red bin. Also, plastic items that have a number 3,4,6 or 7 printed on them, now need to go in the red bin.

“Because of the machinery used at the EcoSort Recycling  Facility, the plastic bottles and containers  put in the yellow bin  needs to be bigger than the size of an individual yoghurt pottle but smaller than three litres.’’

Clean cardboard, paper, aluminium cans, clear and coloured glass bottles and jars, and metal tins are the only non-plastic items that should go in the yellow wheelie bin.

“We need everyone to follow these simple rules for how to bin right because it is very important that we mimimise the amount of contaminated material in our recycling stream. The  markets that buy our recyclables have a very low threshold for contamination and won’t buy from us if we don’t produce clean recycling,’’ Mr Trotter says.

“We need everyone to put only the right stuff in the yellow bin if we want to avoid having to send material collected during the kerbside recycling collection to landfill which is not only bad for the environment but more costly, with additional costs covered through rates. This is why it’s really important that everyone recycles correctly’’

For more information on what can be recycled, download the wheelie bin app or check the Christchurch City Council website.