Grant helps Kinloch glass recycling keep on the up and up

A Kinloch visitor makes use of the newly upgraded glass recycling area at the Kinloch Transfers Station in Taupo.

A $22,000 grant from the Glass Packaging Forum has meant the Kinloch Transfer Station in Taupo is able to keep up with increasing demand for glass recycling as the community continues to grow.

The grant is part of a larger overall site improvement project which the council has put a further $75,000 into. Taupo District Council Assets Manager Solid Waste Brent Aitken says the population increase in Kinloch over the past four years has resulted in the need to upgrade the transfer station to cope with the upsurge in materials being handled.

“The provision of a safe but usable glass handling facility was at the top of the list for Council. We greatly appreciate the funding support given by the Glass Packaging Forum, which has enabled Council to maximise the diversion of glass from the facility,” he says.

The improvements have also helped deal with previous health and safety risks associated with the manual handling of glass bottles and jars on site, Brent says. Previously steel drums were used to store the glass, but these have been replaced with dedicated bins – improving both storage and handling, he says.

The site handles some 60 tonnes of colour-sorted glass per year, but this is expected to increase to some 100 tonnes thanks to the improvements, Brent says.

Glass Packaging Forum scheme manager Dominic Salmon says its grant funding is designed to support councils and other organisations investing in improving their recycling services, thereby ensuring less glass ends up in landfill.

“There is absolutely no reason for container glass (bottles and jars) to end up in landfill as they are infinitely recyclable right here in New Zealand. The Forum distributes funding for projects that increase the quantity and quality of glass going back to the furnace to make new containers,” Dominic says.

“The funds come from levies paid by around 100 voluntary members of the Forum who operate New Zealand’s only product stewardship programme for container glass. To date we’ve funded more than $2.4 million for projects that contribute to that aim.”

The recycled glass is sent to the country’s only glass bottle and jar manufacturer, O-I New Zealand in Auckland.