Tauranga's first-ever rates-funded glass-collection service starts today.
Tauranga residents can now put out their blue collection crates for glass bottles and jars.
The council-led fortnightly service, which is provided to every residential property in Tauranga, is expected to prevent about 6000 tonnes of glass per year being sent to landfill.
Tauranga City Council Environment Committee chair Steve Morris said the decision to include the glass-collection service into the council's Long Term Plan was finalised on June 30.
He was excited to be starting the glass-collection service, which marked a new era in kerbside collections.
"We're very grateful to the Glass Packaging Forum for their $165,000 contribution to the cost of the collection crates, and to the Ministry of the Environment for their support," he said.
"We're also grateful to have Smart Environmental as our collection contractor. They have been in the industry for 25 years and currently provide kerbside collection services to 18 councils throughout New Zealand."
Morris said the next focus of the glass-service implementation was to ensure residents use it correctly so that "glass recycling can be maximised".
The service is strictly for bottles and jars only. If other materials are put in the crate, it won't be emptied.
"We can't risk our glass trucks being turned away from the recycling plant because it contains too many unacceptable materials," he said.
"The brochure that came with the crate and the council website have all the information about what can, and can't, be recycled. I encourage everyone to read them so they know what to do."
Tauranga City Council will extend the kerbside collection service to include mixed recycling, rubbish and organic waste in 2021.
Morris said this was an exciting time for waste recovery and recycling in Tauranga.
"We are one of the last cities in New Zealand to move from privately led to council-led kerbside collection services," he said.
"We are working to ensure efficient and effective services are provided to our residents."
Morris said, currently, nearly 70 per cent of the kerbside waste sent to landfill could be recycled or composted instead.
"This new glass collection service is just the first step making an environmental change for the better for Tauranga."
For more information about the new glass collection service, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/glass or phone 07 577 7000.