Refuse collection to change


Tamahere’s refuse and recycling collections will be changing in a few months.
On the less is more principle, the Waikato District Council is introducing measures to encourage us all to reduce, re-use and recycle more.

There is good reason. Each year Waikato communities unnecessarily dump a costly 35,000 tonnes of refuse in landfills.

But a whopping 64% or 23,000 tonnes of dumped rubbish doesn’t need to be and could be put to better use, the council says.

From July 1, the council will be introducing new refuse and recycling services, which will include pre-paid rubbish bag stickers.

The move comes at the same time as soft plastic recycling has become available at supermarkets in Hamilton and Cambridge and at The Warehouse in a move that aims to recycle around 30 tonnes of soft plastic bags annually.

Used plastic bags, including supermarket and bread bags, courier and postage bags and plastic wrapping (full list below) can now be dropped in dedicated recycling bins at 16 Countdown, New World, PAK’nSAVE and The Warehouse stores across Hamilton as well as in Cambridge, Huntly and Ngaruawahia.

More on this topic: Talk rubbish, recycling

The Waikato District Council’s Less Waste Saves More Campaign is designed to raise awareness of how everyone can make a difference by reducing their waste.

Council Waste Minimisation Officer Pat Cronin said a lot of people didn’t realise the connections between the refuse they put out and the impact it has on the country’s environment, along with climate change.

With the upcoming changes, there will be direct savings for people who reduce the amount of waste they put in their refuse bags. “Each bag will require a pre-paid sticker and wheelie bins will be collected on a pay per lift basis. The less refuse we put out the more money saved,” Cronin said.

There are also indirect savings, too, because the less waste the district produces the more natural resources are saved, including less money spent on conserving and cleaning up water ways, dealing with climate change impacts and replacing the valuable services the land and forests provide.

“We know people are becoming more aware of how important it is to reduce their waste, recycle more and find better ways to reuse stuff they no longer need. We’ll be providing more information over the coming weeks about the new service and how to reduce, reuse and recycle,” Cronin said.

Quick facts
• We send 509kg of waste to landfill per person per year.
• The changes in service will reduce this to 338kg per person per year, a reduction of 33% in waste to landfill per person by 2022.
• 64% of what we throw away can be diverted from landfill as follows: 22% is recyclable; 37% is food waste and 5% is garden waste, which can be put to a better use, such as composting
• Recycling one tonne of paper saves 17 trees and 7500 litres of water
• Each average-sized tree provides an estimated $10 savings in annual environmental benefits, including energy conservation and reduced pollution.

For more information go to

Soft plastic to the recycling bin

The soft plastic that can be put in recycling bins at supermarkets and The Warehouse includes bread bags, frozen food bags, toilet paper packaging, confectionery and biscuit wrap, chip bags, pasta and rice bags, courier envelopes, shopping bags, sanitary hygiene packaging – basically anything made of plastic which can be scrunched into a ball.

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