Move towards recycling glass

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Queenstowners will be given a wheelie bin just for recyclable glass from July 2019.

But there are no promises as yet the glass will actually be recycled.

The council is sending 33,748 tonnes of waste a year to the Victoria Flats landfill per year – including 2652 tonnes of glass from the Wakatipu
Recycling Centre.

As glass is currently mixed with other recyclables in blue bins, it’s too dirty to be cost-effectively recycled.

Queenstown council’s comms team issued a press release this afternoon saying, effectively, the council will rubber stamp its Waste Management and Minimisation Plan at Thursday’s meeting.

The current waste contracts are up for renewal.

Council infrastructure boss Peter Hansby, in the release, says: “From 1 July 2019, properties in Queenstown and Wanaka will have three wheelie bins.

“One for waste to landfill, one for glass recycling and the final bin for mixed recyclables.

“Residents will have a waste bin collected weekly, and a glass bin and mixed recyclables bin collected on alternative weeks.”

But Hansby stops short of saying the glass will actually be recycled.

He says it’s landfilled because it’s mixed with other recyclable material “making it very difficult to recycle”.

Then, he says: “While there’s more to do, the new three-bin system will mean glass can be collected separately, making a huge step towards improving this situation.”

He says there’ll also be more education on waste reduction and the collections will mean a more consistent approach across the district.

The new waste contract will go out for tender next month with a decision due before Christmas.