Next week people will be taken on a tour of Te Awamutu's new recycling sorting centre by Waipā District Council.

It is hoped that tours of the facility will give an insight into the process of the recycling operation and why recycling correctly is important.

Next week's tour will be the first of its kind but council hopes that they will be able to run regular tours and offer educational sessions to the likes of schools.

Construction of the recycling sorting centre began in October last year; it was completed in February and opened on March 25.

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On average 8.5 tonnes of recycling goes through the centre each day, it is then hand sorted. Photo / Caitlan Johnston
On average 8.5 tonnes of recycling goes through the centre each day, it is then hand sorted. Photo / Caitlan Johnston

Waipā District Council operations team leader for roading, Jennifer Braithwaite, says there are several major benefits of having a localised sorting centre in Te Awamutu.

"We now have access to accurate statistics for our district and are able to see how much recycling we're collecting, what types, how much contamination we're collecting and where our education efforts should be focused," says Jennifer.

Other benefits included being able sort recycling locally which is more economic and the fact that it has created several jobs.

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The centre employs 16 people and a good majority of those are working on the sorting belt are organising an average of 8.5 tonnes of recycling each day.

On average the centre is producing 40 bales a week of recycling, these bales are then sent to recycling waste management business, Reclaim, in Penrose.

Waipā District Council wants the public to realise that incorrectly recycling can cause major contamination issues at the recycling sorting centre.

On average the centre is producing 40 bales of recycling each week, the bales are then sent to a recycling company in Auckland. Photo / Supplied
On average the centre is producing 40 bales of recycling each week, the bales are then sent to a recycling company in Auckland. Photo / Supplied

They say that contamination can cause health and safety risks for the sorting team, it can cause breakdowns and damage to the machinery and it can also cause good recycling to
be dumped and bales to be ruined.

It also takes a lot of time to get contaminated recycling out and it costs to send it to landfill.

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Recently Waipā District Council announced that they would no longer be collecting plastic types three, four, six and seven which are found in things like biscuit trays, sauce bottles and some takeaway food containers.

They are now only collecting plastic types one, two and five which are found in things like milk bottles and ice cream containers.

The public are urged to check for the numbered triangle and if they are they are still unsure than it is best that the plastic goes into the rubbish bin.