Plastic recycling options increase for Far North

Published on 03 December 2021

Totara North recycling station 2.jpg

The types of plastic accepted for recycling at Council waste facilities and by kerbside collectors will be expanded from this week.

From Wednesday (1 December), Council Refuse Transfer Stations and Community Recycling Centres began accepting number 5 plastics (examples include some grocery packaging), and coloured number 2 plastics (some cleaning product and cosmetic containers). Kerbside collections undertaken by commercial operators have also increased the range of plastics accepted.

Mayor John Carter says the change is great news for Far North residents wanting to reduce plastic waste. “We all want more plastic to be recycled, but it can be confusing when there are different recycling rules in different places. This is a problem in the Far North where we get a lot of visitors over the summer holidays.”

The expanded range of plastics accepted for recycling follows efforts by the Ministry for the Environment to standardise kerbside collection systems and consumer package labelling across the country. Its goal has been to reduce inconsistencies and to provide greater certainty about plastic recycling.

Mayor Carter says these efforts will help to reduce the volume of plastic going to landfill or being dumped illegally in the Far North. “We have worked closely with local commercial operators, Waste Management and Northland Waste, to ensure these changes are adopted consistently across our district.”

Far North District Council operates 16 refuse transfer stations, and 12 community recycling centres. These facilities are operated by Northland Waste or Waste Management. Both companies also provide kerbside recycling services. In northern parts of the district, kerbside recycling is undertaken by Northland Waste, while Waste Management provides this service in southern areas.