Council cuffed over glass farce


Queenstown’s council is being hammered from all sides over its glass ‘recycling’ fiasco.

Last week Mountain Scene revealed since March all glass collected in the resort is being sent to landfill.

That’s prompted withering responses from a rival contractor, a recycling guru and a local restaurateur.

John Walsh, boss of Queenstown earthmover firm Just Dig It, says he offered to take over the contract two years ago but was turned down.

The crushing machine he planned to use cleans the glass of contaminates.

“It’s a different process but they didn’t go for it,” he says.

“But there’s still a chance we could do this now.”

Recycling Community Network boss Marty Hoffart says even the original relationship between council and Fulton Hogan had no environmental benefit.

“It’s ridiculous - the council’s paying to have the glass taken away and crushed and then buying it back in roading material.

“The only reason it’s going into roading is it looks like something positive is being done with it.”

Hoffart says bottles should be recycled into bottles.

Fishbone Bar & Grill co-owner Darren Lovell asks whether council is going to refund businesses the charges they pay for recycling.

Fulton Hogan’s confirmed it’s refusing to accept more glass for the council stockpile at Parkburn Quarry, near Cromwell, because of high contamination.

Council was paying Fulton Hogan both to transport the glass and to crush it - about $40 a tonne.

Council boss Mike Theelen says a report on the issue is due soon.

The underlying issue is “the recycling collection and sorting systems do not result in a standard of recovered glass product attractive to commercial glass recycling companies”.

He confirms 95 per cent of plastic and paper is recycled.

Fulton Hogan regional boss Paul Bisset says it’s “very keen” to work with the council and community on a solution.

Emails written in 2014, leaked to Mountain Scene, reveal the council paid nearly $27,000 just to transport 2247 tonnes of glass in 2013/14.