Kelly Makiha is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

Plastic bags to go in general landfill waste

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WHEELIE BINS: A Rotorua Lakes Council staff member with the city's new bins which will start to be delivered this week. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
WHEELIE BINS: A Rotorua Lakes Council staff member with the city's new bins which will start to be delivered this week. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Plastic bags will be put out with general household rubbish as part of the rubbish collection scheme starting next month.

Wheelie bins for kerbside rubbish collection and recycling are being delivered to households from this week.

Each house is getting two bins, one for recyclables and the other for general rubbish, as well as a crate for glass.

Rotorua Lakes Council said in a statement yesterday plastic bags and other soft plastics, such as cling film and ziplock bags, would need to be put with general landfill waste.

Those types of plastics are no longer accepted at the council's inner-city recycling centre.

"Rotorua is currently transitioning to a new rubbish and recycling collection service which will dramatically increase recycling and reduce waste going to landfill," the statement said.

"The system used by council's new waste collection provider, Smart Environmental, cannot process plastic bags as they disrupt and damage the company's recycling sorting machinery."

The council will monitor the viability of plastic bag recycling and could possibly introduce it in future, the statement said.

Read more:
Opinion: Give rubbish system a chance

"Council is also encouraging people to consider using reusable shopping bags when they shop and to check if their supermarket takes plastic bags for recycling.

"There is only a small market for plastic bags and this is a global issue. Plastic bags are especially hard to clean which makes them expensive to recycle. However, they are cheap to manufacture."

Meanwhile, an information booklet, which includes collection days and other details, will be delivered with the bins.

Council transport and waste solutions director Stavros Michael said about 25,000 sets of bins and crates would be delivered to properties in the city.

"It would be impractical and unsafe for us to congest the streets with hundreds of bins. We are delivering bins on one side of the street at a time and will return later to deliver bins for the other side," Mr Michael said.

"We want to reassure people that if they see their neighbour across the road has received their bins, there's no need to worry - theirs will be coming on a different day."

A council press release said services in lakes and rural communities would be different to those in the city and have been worked through with residents there. These services will be a mix of bins and bags and/or transfer station facilities.

The bins will be tagged to properties which will help the council collect data that will help with any future planning and review of services.

10 things you should know about kerbside collections
■ Keep using your paper rubbish bags until October 31.
■ The red-lidded bin is for general rubbish and is the size of about two paper rubbish bags. It will be collected weekly.
■ The yellow-lidded bin is for recycling materials and the blue crate is for glass. They will be collected fortnightly, along with the general rubbish bin.
■ Recyclables should be washed and lids removed from plastic bottles. They should also be squashed to save space.
■ Glass bottles and jars should go in the blue crate but lids and tops should be removed and put in the yellow recycling bin.
■ Plastic bags, zip lock bags and cling wrap can't be recycled so need to go in the general rubbish bin.
■ Plastic shopping bags or soft pliable plastics such as glad wrap, bubble wrap or zip lock bags are no longer accepted at the Recycling Centre.
■ On collection day, bins and crates should be about a half a metre apart and close to the grass verge of the kerb. They should not be on the road. The Rotorua Lakes Council website has details of when your bins will be collected.
■ If you physically can't put your bins out, you may be eligible for the Assisted Collection Service. Details are on the council's website.
■ If have a lot of rubbish, you can buy extra bins or upgrade to larger ones. Costs vary from $105 to $250.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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