New centre boosts Waikato district’s recycling efforts

Waikato District Council Solid Waste Team Leader Phillip Ellis with the new glass storage bunkers.

The Waikato District Council has upped its recycling game with a new, fit-for-purpose kerbside recycling sorting centre in Huntly.

The new centre, which received a $20,000 grant from the Glass Packaging Forum to assist with glass storage, replaces the old facility which was open to the elements and had an unsealed road which led to contamination.

Waikato District Council Solid Waste Team Leader Phillip Ellis says the new centre has a dedicated glass handling and storage section inside the building being leased. “They will store colour-sorted glass securely, out of the weather, separate to other recyclables. This will reduce contamination of the glass and other recyclables, improve health and safety, and increase storage capacity,” he says.

The greater storage capacity means transporting glass to Auckland to be recycled is more efficient, Phillip says.

The old site, he says, saw glass stored in concrete bunkers, which were not fit for purpose, with the unsealed road leading to contamination which resulted in some glass becoming unsuitable for recycling.

The council collects around 1,600 tonnes of glass a year for recycling through its kerbside service. It uses the best practice method of collecting glass separately to other recyclables and colour-sorting it.

“Being so close to the recycling plant in Auckland means this glass has a low carbon footprint to transport and losing any of it to landfill or alternative uses is a real waste,” says Glass Packaging Forum Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon. “We commend the council for taking steps to improve its kerbside infrastructure.”