Palmy glass storage upgrade future-proofs recycling

Photo: A GPF grant has helped Palmerston North City Council upgrade its glass recycling infrastructure. Credit: Michal Klajban

Palmerston North City Council has hugely increased its ability to store glass for recycling, thanks in part to a grant from the Glass Packaging Forum (GPF).

The council recently completed the upgrade of its glass storage bunkers, with a $8,600 GPF grant going towards the construction of a new concrete pad. This not only improves capacity but health and safety too, with glass recycling trucks able to offload more easily and safely, says Palmerston North City Council Waste Minimisation Officer Melissa Doyle.

“Previously we could store approximately 340 tonnes, but the upgrade means the storage bunkers can now hold an additional 213 tonnes,” she says. “The upgrade will mean we will be able to deal with any supply chain issues and meet increasing demand as the population of Palmerston North grows.”

Currently the council collects around 2,500 tonnes of glass a year for recycling, with the improvements to storage infrastructure meaning this can grow to 3,000 tonnes over the next 10 years, Melissa says. “Increasing the amount of glass we can hold on site also opens up opportunities to expand our collection area to keep up with growth in the city and neighbouring districts.”

The council’s kerbside recycling service collects high-quality glass which is collected separately from other recyclables and colour-sorted, before going to Auckland to be recycled.

Glass Packaging Forum Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon says helping councils and contractors improve the foundational infrastructure of their glass recycling systems has always been a focus.

“Simple, but sensible upgrades which improve storage and transport have significant and long-lasting impacts on glass recycling in Aotearoa New Zealand. Building resilience into the system is crucial for future proofing and keeping glass out of landfill.”