Sustainabox and Recyclosaurus Rex roll out for rural recycling in the Western Bay of Plenty

Rural Western Bay of Plenty Residents check out one of the mobile recycling trailers due to be rolled out in the area.

Rural Western Bay of Plenty residents will soon have easier access to recycling thanks to specially designed trailers.

The trailers, which were part funded by a $12,000 Glass Packaging Forum grant, have had enthusiastic feedback from the community. The council also ran a contest to name them.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council Resource Recovery and Waste Team Leader Ilze Kruis says it’s anticipated the two trailers will hit the road in the coming months, with a schedule available soon on the council’s website.

The trailers were rolled out on four days in July and August so residents could check them out, dispose of their recyclables and give feedback on what roster they would prefer for the trailers in their areas, Ilze says.

“We also held a vote on which names to give the trailers through our Facebook page. In the end it was Sustainabox and Recyclosaurus Rex with the most votes.”

Feedback from residents has been very positive, she says. “‘Please continue the service’, ‘we just love the service’, ‘this service covers everything I need’ and ‘brilliant set up – keep this going’ were just some of the responses we had.

“It’s clear the trailers are going to be well used, so we look forward to seeing how much recyclable material we collect with them.”

Ilze says council held a rural recycling drop off trial from November 2019 to July 2020, which was very successful despite disruptions caused by Covid-19 lockdowns. The trial saw over 21 tonnes of colour-sorted glass and over nearly 6 tonnes of paper, cardboard, plastic and tins and cans collected.

She expects to collect around 2.5 tonnes of glass a month with the trailers, depending on the season.

“When we checked the numbers for the recyclables collected at the Te Puke Community Recycle Centre, we saw no drop during the rural recycling trial. This suggests a large portion of the material recovered during the trial may otherwise have gone to landfill.”

Glass Packaging Forum Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon says he applauds the council for not only coming up with a practical way to help rural residents recycle but for engaging so well with them about it.

“Rural residents are just as keen as those in urban areas to do the right thing, but long travel distances to recycling centres in town can make this challenging. Well done to Ilze and her team for taking the service to the community,” Dominic says.