A Bay of Plenty woman is disappointed about announced changes to the collection and processing of glass in Tauranga and Western Bay areas.
The changes, announced by Waste Management to residents last week, mean the collection of glass items as part of kerbside recycling will cease from March next year.
Bethlehem resident Sharee Vlietstra is frustrated.
“I got the letter and normally I would just screw it up, but this time around it’s really annoyed me,” she says.
“People who produce a lot of glass waste will now have to put recyclable waste to the side, wait and then take it down to the Bins for Better Communities being placed around.
“They used to do this years ago and people would throw their bottles at the bins, not in them.
“What’s going to happen is there’s going to be a lot of people that are going to walk up to their general waste bins, open the lid, chuck their glass in and it’s going to end up going back into the landfill.
“I already hear from people they can’t be bothered with recycling and it ends up in the general bin, but this is going to make that tenfold.”
She pays around $450 a year for three bins including a waste bin, green bin and recycling.
“Our recycling bin is the biggest one because it gets the most stuff put in it, our bin is full every fortnight.”
She believes a better solution is to imitate other communities and introduce a dedicated glass bin.
“They’ve said the changes are being implemented basically it’s because people leave beer in their bottle and it gets all over the cardboard, I’m thinking why can’t they get a separate bin,” says Sharee.
“We could quite happily fill a dedicated glass bin.
“We’re trying to keep this stuff out of the landfill for the next generation and now I know, no one is going to be able to be bothered to get in their car with all their glass items smashing around in the back to take them to a recycle centre or bin.”
In a letter distributed to Tauranga and Western Bay customers Waste Management says the changes have been implemented due to a number of factors.
“The changes reflect our desire to increase recycling volumes, improve safety for our team, divert more recyclable materials from landfill and make recycling more sustainable,” says Waste Management.
“The current system has become unsustainable as including glass in mixed recycling means less glass is recycled and leads to considerable contamination of other materials.”
To make up for the changes, the company is implementing a new initiative called Bins for Better Communities which will involve participating community groups hosting specifically designed recycling bins.
Residents will be able to deposit glass recycling into the bins around the region free of charge.