Kāpiti Coast glass goes circular

A recent move by some of Kāpiti Coast District’s recycling collectors to a system where all glass bottles and jars are recycled has been welcomed by the Glass Packaging Forum.

Kāpiti Coast District Council Waste Minimisation and Services Officer Katharina Kennedy explains previously some glass had been colour-sorted and sent to Auckland to be recycled into new containers, while some was crushed and used as aggregate and for landfill capping. “All of our collectors are now colour-sorting and sending the glass to be recycled, which is fantastic.”

A final piece of the puzzle in the change was the conversion of the public place recycling bin set up to suit the colour sorting of glass,  which is being done with the help of a $1,000 grant from the GPF.

Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon says the GPF was more than happy to assist the council become part of a circular solution for glass.

Katharina says the public place recycling bins were initially set up to collect mixed glass, but the council now needs to have glass separated into its three colours (brown, green and clear).

“We are currently trialing public place recycling with this bin – which has now been sent in to be reconfigured for colour sorting glass – for 12 months before deciding whether to install more,” she says.

The same public place recycling bins have been installed in 18 regions around the country, and once the redesign has been completed by the design company, AE Tilley, they will market it to other councils, Katharina says. “The impact of this project will likely spread far beyond our council.”

Dominic says it’s excellent to see a council move away from using glass as an aggregate or other operational purposes in favour of circular bottle-to-bottle recycling. “There is certainly a place for glass as an aggregate, but only if there is no way to recycle it. We applaud the council for reassessing where glass goes and ensuring it gets recycled.”