A newly-minted recycling sorting centre that will process recycling in Waipa will open in Te Awamutu at the end of the month.

Waipa District Council recycling contractor, Metallic Sweeping Ltd, will officially open the site on March 25, marking the start of localised sorting in Waipa.

The site is currently being tested and eight new staff trained in the lead up to the opening day.

Council operations team leader Jennifer Braithwaite says a local sorting centre would benefit the Waipa community.

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"Not only do we expect the centre to create new jobs, it will also provide very specific data and statistics on the quality of the recycling we collect," says jennifer.

"We'll know just how much of the different plastic types are being collected, as well as how much contamination is being placed in the recycling bins.

"This information will assist us in developing recycling education programs, which are aimed at teaching people proper ways to recycle."

Since the launch of Waipa's kerbside recycling service in July last year, the recycling has been transported in bulk as mixed material to a recycling centre in Auckland for sorting.

Mixed recycling will now be separated into cardboard, paper and plastics and transported directly to the market.

Glass recycling will continue to be transported to Auckland for processing.

Staff training at the recycling sorting centre in Te Awamutu. Photo / Supplied
Staff training at the recycling sorting centre in Te Awamutu. Photo / Supplied

Jennifer says the new centre meant recycling could be sorted automatically by machine or manually by workers.

"Mixed recycling is put onto a conveyor belt where it is sorted. Any items that can't be recycled are removed, then at the end of the line, a magnet removes any metal items.

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"Once the recyclable material is separated into cardboard, paper and plastics, it is put through a baler which compresses and packs them into bales that are easier to store and transport."

She says it is vital residents put their recycling into the correct wheelie bins and ensure all items were empty and clean.

"Staff have to deal with and touch dirty recycling and contamination directly so it can be really unpleasant for them if people have put landfill items into their recycling bins.

"We have had several occasions where people have put dirty nappies into their recycling which staff then have to dispose of."

Recycling will only be collected from the yellow and blue wheelie bins provided to households as part of Waipa's recycling service. Residents are not permitted to drop off their recycling directly to the centre.

For more information on what can and can't go in your wheelie bin head to www.waipadc.govt.nz/recycling