It is hoped new recycling bins at the Henderson Rd recycling centre will reduce servicing costs, reduce the risk of contaminated recycling getting into the bins, and improve safety for users.
The eight new containers take up the same amount of room but hold four times the amount of recycling as the old array of skip bins and cages.
"The cleanliness of recycling is a very important issue, with countries and companies taking product for recycling rightly insisting on the product not being contaminated," said Tania Kerr, Hastings District Council deputy mayor and Joint Council Waste Futures Project Steering Committee chairwoman.
"The way the new recycling containers are designed means whole bins or bags of mixed rubbish cannot be dumped into a bin.
"This is crucial to our need to have the 'cleanest' recycling possible, so we can achieve the best outcome for our ratepayers when the recycling is used to make useful products."
The new containers were the same as those rolled out to rural Hastings communities, where they had been so successful that other councils had asked to use the design in their districts.
At the Henderson Rd collection centre, two ramps had been included in the new design to provide easier access for users.
"Our staff are always ready to assist as, necessarily, the slots for the recycling do have to be high up the sides so the bins can be filled right up to top," said Mrs Kerr.
The $400,000 project cost was paid for out of Hastings' allocation from the central Government's national waste disposal levy.
The levy, administered by the Ministry for the Environment, is funded by a $10 levy per tonne charge on rubbish dumped at landfills, with part of the income distributed to New Zealand's councils, based on population.
Hastings is in the fortunate position of being able to recycle all its collected material. Paper and cardboard is recycled with a local company taking a lot of the material to produce fruit trays.
Glass is sorted and crushed before going to an Auckland company, which uses the glass "sand" to make new glass products.
Plastics and tins and aluminium are separated, with the tin and aluminium going to metal recyclers, and the clean plastic baled for sale overseas where it is "chipped" and made into new plastic products.
How to recycle plastic:
Check the bottom of the item to make sure it is recyclable (numbers 1 to 7 on things like drink and milk bottles, biscuit trays, and shampoo and cleaning fluid bottles - not soft plastics, takeaway coffee cups, meat trays or any polystyrene products). Empty any contents out of the container and rinse the bottle and lid. Put recyclables into a bin or container (maximum 10kg) and put the bin at the kerbside on your allotted day. To find a property's collection day enter the address at: www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/services/properties-and-rates/my-property