Reduced processing capacity puts recycling at risk of landfill

Published on 29 May 2020

Recycling truck.

Some recycling from Horowhenua may need to be diverted to landfill due to reduced processing capacity during Alert Level 2.

Council’s Water and Waste Services Manager Asli Crawford said that while most of the district’s recycling would continue to be processed as normal, Council had no choice but to send some to landfill.

“Recycling needs to be sorted and processed by workers, and the processing facility we use has fewer staff on the sorting lines than usual due to physical distancing measures under Alert Level 2. As a result, they can only take two truckfuls of recycling per day from our district,” said Ms Crawford.

Ms Crawford said contractors would normally collect about two truckfuls of recycling per day in Horowhenua, but volumes had been higher than usual because recycling services were suspended during lockdown. 

“In the first two weeks we were collecting about double the amount of recycling we normally do as people disposed of stockpiles accumulated during lockdown. That’s returning to normal levels now,” she said.

Cardboard collections at recycling stations and glass were exempt, because they are processed differently. Cardboard from recycling stations goes directly to pulp and paper, and glass is crushed at the Levin Landfill and re-used for base material within Landfill roads.

Ms Crawford said people should continue to dispose of their recycling as normal.

“Sending recycling to landfill is a last resort, and we’ll be continuing to process as much of it as possible in the normal way,” she said.

People can find more information about how to dispose of a wide range of products, including what can be recycled, on the What Goes Where page.