Major improvement to Taumarunui Transfer Station’s glass recycling

Glass storage bunkers at Taumarunui Transfer Station GPF grant
The new storage bunkers for recycled glass will greatly reduce contamination.

Taumarunui Transfer Station’s glass recycling got a facelift recently, thanks in part to a grant from the Glass Packaging Forum.

The grant, of $28,000, helped the Ruapehu District Council build brand new storage bunkers for the collected glass. These replaced old, wooden bunkers which were well beyond their useful life and caused some glass to be lost to landfill due to contamination.

Ruapehu District Council Waste Minimisation Officer Dean Hosking says the new bunkers will provide a safe and effective way to manage the district’s glass recycling needs.

“The transfer station is a regional hub for smaller, rural recycling centres, so it was important we brought it up to standard,” he says. “The Council has a strong focus on waste minimisation, so it was good to be able to partner with the GPF for this project.”

The centre currently sees some 851 tonnes of recycled flow through its gates. This glass is colour-sorted, which is best practice, but if it’s not stored correctly, it can become contaminated with dirt or the colours can mix, making it less recyclable or completely unrecyclable, Dean says.

Glass Packaging Forum Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon says the Forum has a focus on helping improve infrastructure around the country which improves glass recycling. “These bunkers, as basic as they are, are vital to getting high quality glass back to the furnace in Auckland to be made into new bottles.”

The GPF funded the interlocking blocks with the Council funding the remaining cost.

To date, the GPF has funded over $1.8 million in infrastructure to improve glass recycling in New Zealand.