Easy fix means tonnes more Central Otago glass gets recycled

Alexandra Wastebusters has been collecting between three and four, full 240L wheelie bins of glass each week in Clyde since the bins were installed.

Central Otago glass bottles and jars which would normally have been landfilled or stockpiled are now being recycled thanks to a grant from the Glass Packaging Forum.

Central Otago District Council Waste Minimisation Officer Abi Hawkins says the increase in visitors over the peak holiday periods means extra capacity was needed to recycle Clyde’s glass. The grant, for $500, meant wheelie bins could be placed at the public place recycling area in the township.

“We contracted Alexandra Wastebusters, which already collects recyclables in rural areas throughout the district, to collect the glass from Clyde’s public place recycling bins during these holiday periods. This glass is colour-sorted and sent with the other glass Wastebusters collects to Auckland to be recycled,” Abi says.

The wheelie bins were placed on 20 December and were already being well used, with Wastebusters collecting three to four full, 240 litre wheelie bins a week, she says.

Glass Packaging Forum Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon says that while the grant was relatively small the impact has been impressive.

“The average weight of a 240L wheelie bin full of glass is around 80kg, so this equals around a tonne of glass a month during the busy periods. I’m sure it’s also encouraging for the people who use the wheelie bins to know their glass is being recycled,” he says.

The Glass Packaging Forum has funded over $3.9 million in grants to date, ranging from infrastructure to reuse, equipment and research. “Our aim is to keep glass out of landfill so it can be recycled reused or used for alternative purposes,” Dominic says.