Soft plastics to be removed from kerbside recycling collection

Published on 12 September 2018

Soft plastics rubbish.

Horowhenua District Council will not accept soft plastics in its kerbside recycling collection after Monday 1 October.

Council’s Environmental Engineer, Ryan Hughes, said soft plastics are the ones you can scrunch up, such as food wrap, plastic shopping bags, food packets and bread bags.

He said the decision to stop collecting soft plastics was made partly because of the problems soft plastics cause during sorting.

“Recycling is sorted with machinery, and soft plastics can jam the machinery and cause delays.”

In addition, there have been changes in the global recycling market that mean fewer companies want to buy recycled soft plastics, he said.

After Monday 1 October, recycling crates containing soft plastics will no longer be emptied. However, until 7 October, residents whose recycling crates are not emptied because they contain soft plastics can remove those plastics and have their recycling collected the next day.

“Council is educating people and minimising inconvenience for residents during this change,” said Mr Hughes.

The change brings Horowhenua District Council into line with the recycling collection practices of most New Zealand councils, and means residents will need to dispose of soft plastics with their general household waste in their wheelie bin or Council rubbish bag.

Mr Hughes encouraged residents to minimise waste production.

“The best thing to do is to reduce all waste and recycling, reuse what can’t be reduced, and only then recycle what can’t be reused,” he said.

Residents can obtain more information about what can be included in their recycling, and how to dispose of household waste products, on the What Goes Where page of Council's website.