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Hamilton's new Waste Plan is worth the wait - says Councillor

By Tom Rowland | 22 Jun 2018 09:00

Hamilton News 20180625

City council waste taskforce chairman Councillor Mark Bunting says it will be well worth the wait for Hamilton residents, when the city's new waste plan comes into action in mid-2020.

When the waste plan was signed off as part of Hamilton's 10-year plan, questions were raised across social media on how their rubbish will be collected, and why it will take until 2020 for it to start.

The plan will introduce four new kerbside collection bins to Hamilton homes, while Hamiltonians will also finally be able to recycle plastics 3-7, alongside the 1-2 already collected.

The four new bins will be universally colour coded. A red wheelie bin for general rubbish, a yellow wheelie bin for plastic recyclables, a smaller lime green bin for organic waste and a light green crate for glass.

Council waste minimisation adviser Charlotte Catmur said the extra time allows all the infrastructure to be completed.

"It gives us two years to get all the bins manufactured, get all the trucks ready. There are going to be changes coming in at the transfer centre and the organic centre. So although this is kerbside, it is much bigger than that."

Councillor Bunting said global changes in how recycling is done means the two year wait until 2020 gives council plenty of time to be ready.

"We put it back a year because we basically wanted to get it right and we are pretty glad we did as China's green sword policy changed how collection is done for a lot of cities," Mr Bunting said.

"These contracts have to be long term as these contractors have to put a lot of investment in with their equipment. We couldn't have done it any quicker."

China banned the import of 24 types of solid waste. For some plastics, this means that anything with more than 0.5 per cent contamination cannot be imported.

While other councils are already collecting plastics 3-7, Hamilton is playing catch up, currently only recycling plastics 1-2.

"When we brought in our current contract 20 years ago it was state of the art, no one was doing this, and now we're just a bit behind," Mr Bunting said.

Plastics 3-7 includes water bottles, yoghurt containers and plastic food containers.

The new bins will roll out on to Hamilton properties in July 2020. The rubbish and recycle bins will be collected fortnightly, the food waste bin will be collected weekly and composted.

"For any property where this model won't work, we will go out with the contractors and talk and see how we can work with them," Ms Catmur said.

"Educating people is part of our plan, it has got to be exciting and positive education rather than someone coming down saying thou shall do the right thing," Mr Bunting said.

In two years time, Ms Catmur hopes New Zealand will have better infrastructure in place onshore to process their own recyclable waste, rather than sending it overseas.

"I'd like to see us creating products that are used in manufacturing here through our recycling, we can manufacture things like pipes, it does not need to be high quality plastic to make them," Ms Catmur said.

This article was originally published in the Hamilton News. To view the original article click here.