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Changes to glass recycling in Tauranga and new Bins for Better Communities initiative

Changes to glass recycling in Tauranga and new Bins for Better Communities initiative

Waste Management is changing how it collects and manages glass for recycling in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty.

This reflects our desire to increase recycling volumes, improve safety for our team, divert more recyclable materials from landfill and make recycling more sustainable in the future.

As part of this move we are also supporting a new initiative, Bins for Better Communities, where participating schools and community groups will be paid for recyclable glass collected from purpose-built bins on their premises.

Any member of the community will be able to dispose of their glass at stations located at participating schools and community groups for free.

This change will come into effect on 1 March 2018. We will no longer accept glass in the mixed-recycling bin for processing at our Mount Maunganui Recycling facility. However, glass pre-sorted into colours (clear, green and brown) will still be accepted.

Waste Management will continue to collect both general waste and recycling bins from residential and commercial customers.

David Howie, General Manager, Lower North Island, says that recycling glass at Mount Manganui posed unacceptable safety risks to staff, was commercially unsustainable and was often counter-productive in diverting waste from landfill.

We have recycled mixed glass at our Mount Maunganui site for a long time. But the glass is often broken into small pieces and needs to be sorted into different colour streams.

This creates an unacceptable health hazard for our staff handling the broken glass, and also means other recycling products are easily contaminated by the shards. This leads to materials that could otherwise be recycled being diverted to landfill.

We are committed to offering recycling, but glass recycling has many challenges associated with it. We believe Bins for Better Communities can offer better recycling outcomes and generate new income for Tauranga area schools and community groups.

Once the sorted glass has been collected from the glass recycling stations it will be transported to a larger facility where it will be turned back into glass.

We are writing to customers about the change.