Blue crates at the ready - Tauranga's new ratepayer-funded glass recycling kerbside service starts on Monday.

Tauranga City Council and its contracted collection company, Auckland-based Smart Environmental, are bracing for high volumes in the first fortnight.

Council solid waste operations engineer Murray Kliskey said he believed many people had been hoarding glass in anticipation of the service starting.

He anticipated that overfilled crates and glass being mixed with recycling or rubbish would be the biggest teething issues for the rapidly-rolled out service.

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The council would be taking a "tough love" approach to recycling rebels, Kliskey said.

What will and won't be accepted in glass crates. Graphic/Tauranga City Council
What will and won't be accepted in glass crates. Graphic/Tauranga City Council

Overflowing crates or crates containing anything but rinsed glass jars and bottles will be left behind with a sticker detailing the offence and the rules.

Underfilled crates were also not encouraged.

Smart Environmental senior manager Ben Day said crates needed to be filled enough that it was worth a driver's while picking them up.

He said seven local people had been hired to staff the new service, including five drivers for its five newly-built (in New Zealand) trucks.

Four trucks would do the residential street rounds, with drivers sorting the glass in each bin at the roadside. The receptacle for green glass is about twice as big as those for brown or white glass.

Smart Environmental operations manager Johnny Dick with deputy mayor Kelvin Clout and councillor Steve Morris. Photo/Andrew Warner
Smart Environmental operations manager Johnny Dick with deputy mayor Kelvin Clout and councillor Steve Morris. Photo/Andrew Warner

The fifth truck was a MUD - multi-unit dwelling - truck, which would service apartments and retirement villages, most of which had shared colour-sorted wheelie bins instead of crates.

Day said some retirement villages had requested a crate for each unit instead of bins.

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"Some of those villages consume a lot of beverages."

He said the 3.5-month service turnaround was the fastest the company, which has been around for 25 years and has contracts with 18 councils, had ever done.

A map of collection days for each suburb. Glass will be collected once a fortnight. Graphic/Tauranga City Council
A map of collection days for each suburb. Glass will be collected once a fortnight. Graphic/Tauranga City Council

Waste Management, operator of Tauranga's two transfer stations, stopped accepting glass in mixed recycling on March 1, citing safety issues for staff and contamination of other recycling.

The company introduced Bins for Better Communities - public colour-sorted glass collection points hosted on a volunteer basis by businesses and community organisations.

A Waste Management spokeswoman told NZME the company was not planning any changes to that system but would remove the bins if the hosts asked.

Papamoa East Four Square owner Ben Duffield said he would be having the ones in his store's carpark removed in the next couple of weeks.

"Ever since the blue bins went out a lot less people have been using [the public bins]. They are quite a lot of effort."

Waste Management had been discussing ditching glass with the council's staff since 2014 but only confirmed it would stop collecting glass last year.

A Bins for Better Communities station. File photo
A Bins for Better Communities station. File photo

Public outcry spurred the council, one of only a few in New Zealand with a privatised waste collection system - into action.

Environmental committee chairman Steve Morris said the start of the service represented Tauranga "finally getting with the 21st century".

Tauranga City Council will be extending the kerbside collection service to include mixed recycling, rubbish and organic waste in 2021.

Find your glass collection day

For information about the glass collection service, including your fortnightly collection day, visit tauranga.govt.nz/glass
By the numbers

6000 tonnes - volume of glass expected per year
50c - cost per crate per week
7 - new jobs created
5 - new recycling trucks built
2 weeks - frequency of pickups
7.30am - time crates must be out on your collection day
2021 - full council-run kerbside waste collection service due