Waste not, want not

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Council’s decision to have residents throw out their blue recycling bin to make way for an “identical” glass-only wheelie bin is counter-productive in reducing waste, a Queenstown resident says.

The man, whom Mountain Scene is not naming because of privacy reasons unrelated to this story, received his new bins – part of the upcoming three-bin scheme – a few weeks ago.

He says the new blue bin, for glass recycling only, is “pretty much the same” as the blue bin currently used for mixed recycling.

“Surely they could have just explained a change in use for the blue bin, then they wouldn’t have to give out three brand-new bins,” he says.

From July 1, residents will no longer use blue plastic bags, black crates or the current blue recycling bins as part of sweeping waste changes by council. Instead, they will use three bins: a red 140-litre bin for landfill waste, a blue 140-litre bin for glass and a yellow 240-litre bin for mixed re-cyclables. About 54,000 new bins will be distributed.

The anonymous resident argues doubling up on the blue bins is a waste of money and materials.

“People with no room will throw the blue bin in the tip. Why are ratepayers paying for the exact same bin, and how much has this cost us?”

Council property and infrastructure general manager Peter Hansby won’t reveal the cost of the new bins because it’s “commercially sensitive”.

The price for production and delivery of the bins is built into the overall collection contract, which will cost $5.8 million each year, he says.

The new blue bin is marked with important information on how it should be used.

“This is particularly important for glass given the success of glass recycling relies on a very low level of contamination.”

Council’s organised collection schemes for old bins to be recycled, and he hopes people do the right thing and not take it to landfill.

miranda.cook@scene.co.nz