Whangārei district will be recycling glass in separate bins starting next month, as Whangārei District Council will roll out new blue bins in addition to the current red recycling containers.

From November 4, blue bins for glass recycling will start being delivered to every household on council's kerbside recycling circuit.

The new blue bins are for clean glass bottles and jars of any colour, excluding window, mirror or lightbulb glass because they contain chemicals and metals that the recyclers aren't able to process.

"They are not for broken glass, because everything gets sorted by hand and we don't want our people getting cut," David Lindsay, council's solid waste engineer, said.

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Broken glass as well as glass contaminated with chemicals will still have to be safely disposed in the general waste bin.

The new blue bins go out the same day as rubbish bags and red bins, and are collected by the same truck.

This is the latest step in council's bid to have an efficient recycling system that will see less waste ending up on the landfill.

Pupils of Hikurangi School trialled the new glass recycling bins for the past two months. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Pupils of Hikurangi School trialled the new glass recycling bins for the past two months. Photo / Michael Cunningham

As Whangārei's rubbish collectors sort the different recyclables directly at the kerbside, the new two-bin system will speed up the recycling process.

"We make sure that what we collect in Whangārei really is recycled," Lindsay explained.

He said because Whangārei's glass was so clean, always the right type and sorted by colour, it was in high demand by recyclers in Auckland.

"We only collect recycling that we know can be recycled. To achieve that we take extra special care in the way we do things."

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With glass going into the new blue bins, the red bin will still be used for all other recyclables: newspapers, magazines, junk mail, envelopes, flattened cardboard boxes, shoe boxes, old phone books, aluminium drink cans, clean foil plates, steel food cans, and all plastics marked "1" or "2".

Containers are to be cleaned and flattened, and plastic containers larger than four litres cannot be collected at kerb side as they take up too much space in the truck

Plastic coated paper and card, for example, cardboard milk and juice containers, as well as plastic bags are not recyclable and go in the general waste bin.