Western Bay of Plenty District Council's recycling centres and greenwaste drop-off sites have extended their operating hours to receive stockpiled plastics and greenwaste until the end of May.
Recycling and greenwaste facilities in the district are operating under alert level 2 conditions with extended hours and additional open days from until the end of the month.
During this time centres will operate from 9am to 4pm, closing for lunch between 12 noon and 1pm.
Te Puke's recycling centre will be open May 26, 27 and 28, but will be accepting only plastic on May 26, only greenwaste on May 27 and plastics, cardboard, paper, colour sorted glass, tin/aluminium cans on May 28.
Normal hours and operations for all recycling centres will resume from June 1.
Under alert level 2 conditions until 1 June, customers will be required to maintain a one-metre physical distance for safety reasons. Staff will not be assisting customers with their recycling.
Council's utilities manager Kelvin Hill says the public has been great in accepting the Covid-19 operating hours and the restrictions on accepted recyclable goods under alert levels 3 and 2.
The rules for alert level 2 are:
■ No pets allowed in vehicles on site
■ Limited number of vehicles in the site to maintain the physical distancing required.
■ No trailers (apart from when centres open for greenwaste only)
■ Only eftpos transactions accepted for greenwaste. No cash accepted.
■ Only the following recycling items will be accepted: glass bottles and jars separated into colours, aluminium cans, tin cans, flattened corrugated cardboard, Paper, including light card and egg cartons, clear plastic milk and cream bottles, Anchor light proof milk bottles, clear plastic drink bottles.
Greenwaste will not be accepted if it includes flax, pampas, bamboo, gorse or palms. (These are treated as normal refuse and not accepted at the recycling centres). Greenwaste stem diameter must be no thicker than 100mm and the length no longer than three metres.
Some items will no longer be accepted:
Meat trays, plastic punnets, janitorial plastics (even if it is a Number 1 or 2 plastic), coloured plastic bottles (eg ginger beer, Sprite, etc).
Janitorial and coloured plastics will no longer be accepted at any recycling centres nationwide due to there being no market for these plastics in the foreseeable future.
Kelvin says the council is not prepared to collect these plastics and then have to take them to the landfill, as this would end up being a cost on ratepayers.
"We will not be accepting any coloured plastic, plastic meat trays, or any type of plastic products like margarine or ice cream containers and we suggest people place these items in their rubbish bins. Please do not be offended if we say no at the gate to receiving these items at our centres.
"We thank everyone for their cooperation and patience during this period."