Sunday, April 14, 2024

Paper recycling resumes, but some plastics will go to landfill

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Kerbside recycling services are not affected and continue as usual

Paper and cardboard recycling processing in Auckland will resume as normal for May, as Auckland Council has been able to secure an overseas market for up to 4000 tonnes of mixed paper and cardboard materials.

However, plastics numbered 3-7 will now need to be separated out after collection and sent to landfill as the council has been unable to secure a market for these materials.

These plastics represent less than 4 per cent of the total recycling market in Auckland.

Plastics 3-7 are more difficult to recycle, and it is expected it could take at least three months before adequate markets resume. Recycling markets for paper and cardboard will be evaluated on a month to month basis.

Councillor Richard Hills, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee says, “My message to Aucklanders is to keep putting your recycling out as normal while we work out a solution. We will make sure we recycle everything we can and take out what we can’t at our end.

“Auckland has the most extensive recycling collection system in the country. Even with the market disruptions we’re still recycling 96% of materials including aluminium, steel, glass, paper and most plastics.

“It’s great that we have found a market solution for our paper, cardboard and other fibre products, but the recent requirement to landfill some of our plastics highlights the need for us to be able to deal with our recycling onshore, instead of relying on other countries.

“To meet our waste objectives, we need to move from a throwaway culture towards a circular economy with more sustainable choices. “We will continue to advocate for better recycling capacity in New Zealand and to reduce single-use plastic. Everybody needs to reduce their waste.”

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