Glass recycling first for popular Taranaki beach camp

The increasingly popular Taranaki beach camp at Kaupokonui will be able to offer its residents and visitors glass recycling for the first time this summer, thanks to a grant from the Glass Packaging Forum.

The grant, of $1,100, means the Kaupokonui and Districts Beach Society could install a glass recycling station. The station will not only prevent glass from being littered, but prevent it from going to landfill, says Glass Packaging Forum Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon.

Janet Wairua of the voluntary, not-for-profit Beach Society, which administers the camp, says they are committed to recycling and improving sustainability in the area. “The camp is extremely busy during Christmas and New Year, as well as over Easter, public holidays and during the whitebaiting season,” she says.

The closest recycling area was 4km away at Manaia and glass at the beach camp was more likely to be put in general rubbish. “But now that won’t happen as the Kaupokonui and Districts Beach Society have negotiated with Egmont Recycling Hawera for the glass to be picked up and recycled into crushed glass which is used for landscaping and glass mulch,” Janet says.

While the grant is an example of how a low-cost solution can improve sustainability, says Dominic. “Glass is infinitely recyclable and there’s no reason is should end up in landfill. Recycling just a single bottle saves enough energy to power a lightbulb for 24 hours.”

The GPF’s grants are funded by voluntary levies paid by its members, with over $3.7 million in grants funded to date to projects which improve glass recovery and recycling in New Zealand.