Today is the first day of what is being described a new era in kerbside collection services for Tauranga with the first ever, rates-funded glass collections now underway.
The council-led service, which is provided to every residential property in Tauranga, is expected to prevent around 6000 tonnes of glass per year being sent to landfill.
Over the last month, Tauranga residents received blue collection crates for their glass bottles and jars and an information brochure explaining how the fortnightly service works.
Tauranga City Council Environment Committee Chair, Cr Steve Morris, says despite having only three months to plan and implement this new service, both council and the glass collection contractor, Smart Environmental, are excited to start collecting glass today.
“The decision to include the glass collection service into council’s Long Term Plan was only finalised on 30 June this year, so the past three months have been very busy.
“We’re very grateful to the Glass Packaging Forum for their $165,000 contribution to the cost of the collection crates, and to the Ministry of the Environment for their support. We’re also grateful to have Smart Environmental as our collection contractor. They have been in the industry for 25 years and currently provide kerbside collection services to 18 councils throughout New Zealand.”
Steve says the next focus of the glass service implementation is to ensure the residents use it correctly so that glass recycling can be maximised. The service is strictly for bottles and jars only.
“If other materials are put in the crate, it won’t be emptied. We can’t risk our glass trucks being turned away from the recycling plant because it contains too many unacceptable materials.
“The brochure that came with the crate and the council website have all the information about what can, and can’t, be recycled. I encourage everyone to read them so they know what to do."
Tauranga City Council will be extending the kerbside collection service to include mixed recycling, rubbish and organic waste in 2021.
“These are exciting times for waste recovery and recycling in Tauranga. We are one of the last cities in New Zealand to move from privately-led to council-led kerbside collection services. We are working to ensure efficient and effective services are provided to our residents.
“Currently, nearly 70 percent of the kerbside waste our residents send to landfill could actually be recycled or composted instead. This new glass collection service is just the first step making an environmental change for the better for Tauranga."
For more information about the new glass collection service, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/glass
or phone 07 577 7000.