Future of Maclean Park recycling bins uncertain
A new sign has been installed to provide additional guidance on the use of the yellow recycling bin at Maclean Park in Paraparaumu. The sign is in response to a recent audit that showed contamination of the bin was high and that bins are being used for household recycling.
The bins are part of the public place recycling trial that, if successful, could see these recycling stations rolled out to select public places around the district. The trial has been running since January 2020 and assesses the cost of expanding the initiative to other areas of Kāpiti and whether the station is used correctly.
Kāpiti Coast District Council Waste Projects Manager, Ruth Clarke, says that while the audit was disappointing, there’s still time to turn things around.
“We know that our community wants these bins to stay and to see more of these recycling stations in parks and other popular spots across the district – we do too,” Ms Clarke says.
“While we can see that many people are using these bins correctly, we need everyone to follow the rules to ensure the trial is a success.”
The audit found significant ‘contamination’, including things that can’t be recycled such as coffee cups, aerosol cans, plastic cutlery, and dirty recyclables including various plastic containers with food and drink residues, and pizza boxes with cheese, sauce and crusts stuck to them.
“People don’t realise that too much contamination in the yellow recycling bin means that the whole bin full will be rejected and ends up in the landfill.
“It was also very apparent that some households are using the bins. While we encourage all local residents and businesses to recycle, the Maclean Park recycling bins are only for park users and small amounts of on-the-go recycling. When residents use them for their household recycling, the bin fills up too quickly, leading to overflow issues and increased collection costs.
“Local residents and businesses can drop their recycling off free of charge at the Otaihanga transfer station or sign up for a collection service with one of Kāpiti’s rubbish and recycling collectors.
“We’re hoping that the sign will help to remind people of the rules so we can keep contamination rates and costs down. These bins have been successful in some districts but have failed in others – it all comes down to people’s commitment to recycling the right way.
“Basically, the same rules apply as with your recycling at home: only plastics 1,2 and 5, aluminium and steel cans, and paper and cardboard. Everything has to be clean. Any food-soiled packaging should go int the rubbish bin. And glass needs to be colour sorted carefully to ensure it can go back for bottle-to-bottle recycling. If you’re unsure, all of the information is on our website at www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/sorting-recycling.”
Another audit is planned for November/December to see if the contamination has improved. The future viability of the bins will be evaluated as the trial draws to a close at the end of the year.