Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre could become a drop-off hub for a range of hazardous products.
Whanganui District Council waste adviser Stuart Hylton said the centre already collected e-waste items, such as domestic batteries, eco-bulbs and fluorescent tubes, and he envisaged that would expand to include others in the Government's "priority products" list.
Last year the Government announced six priority products for regulated product stewardship under the Waste Minimisation Act, as part of a wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills or polluting the environment.
Other categories include refrigerants and other synthetic greenhouse gases, agrichemicals and their containers, farm plastics and packaging (beverage packaging, single-use plastic packaging).
Hylton said the centre would be ready to collect items from other categories once the scheme was fully rolled out.
"We want to encourage people to bring energy efficient light bulbs and fluorescent tubes to the centre, as well as all domestic batteries – both alkaline and rechargeable – and car batteries," Hylton said.
At present the centre sends energy efficient light bulbs and fluorescent tubes, which contain mercury, to waste specialists in Auckland to be fully recycled, with zero waste going to landfill.
All domestic batteries should be dropped at the resource recovery centre to be disposed of safely, Hylton said.
"We recommend purchasing rechargeable batteries because, as well as being reusable, they can also be sent off to be fully recycled at the end of their life.
"Even though standard alkaline batteries can't be recycled, it's important to bring them into the centre because they need to be encased in cement before being sent to landfill to prevent leaching into the environment."
Hylton said many people did not know that products such as children's car seats, old toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes could also be taken to the centre.
"Whanganui District Council subsidises the recycling of children's car seats, so it's just $5 to drop off a car seat, instead of the $25 that is paid in some regions."
Car seats are processed by SeatSmart, which supports social enterprise organisations to dismantle some of the seats. Most of the metal and plastic is recycled and the straps are used to make bags.
For information on recycling and reusing in Whanganui, go to www.resourcewhanganui.org.nz