As part of a wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in New Zealand’s landfills, the Government is to fund the upgrading of seven high-tech recycling plants from Northland to Canterbury announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage today.
She also welcomed the recommendations in a report on how New Zealand’s kerbside recycling can be standardised. The report, Standardising kerbside collections in Aotearoa, was released today.
“There is much to do to improve how we recycle in New Zealand and Covid-19 lockdowns have created further challenges.
“This $36.7 million investment and implementing the kerbside report recommendations will help improve recycling infrastructure and materials recovery,” said Eugenie Sage.
“Currently New Zealand’s recycling system relies on a lot of manual sorting of materials so that they can be reprocessed. It’s not pleasant work, especially when people put rubbish in their recycling bin.
“Investing in high-tech optical sorters will make for safer workplaces and speed up the sorting process to separate different materials, such as paper and plastics.
“Some plastic materials are very difficult to tell apart, even for the professionals. This is where the optical sorter can in a split-second determine whether for example, a clear rigid plastic is made from 1, 3, 6 or 7. The latter three plastics are considered as contamination in many kerbside collections nowadays.