Tauranga’s new glass collection service kicks off

The Deputy Mayor of Tauranga Cr Kelvin Clout, left, and Chair of the Tauranga City Council Environment Committee Cr Steve Morris, take a look at one of Tauranga’s new glass collection trucks with Alistair Sayers of the Glass Packaging Forum and Nigel Clarke from the Ministry for the Environment.

The biggest grant awarded by the Glass Packaging Forum to date has helped Tauranga City Council roll out the city’s first ever, rates-funded glass bottle and jar collection service.

The new service, which began on Monday, 1 October, is expected to divert around 6000 tonnes of glass per year from landfill, to be recycled at glass bottle and jar manufacturer O-I New Zealand. The Forum contributed around a quarter of the cost – $165,000.

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Tauranga residents received blue collection crates during September for their glass bottles and jars, as well as information brochures explaining how the fortnightly service works. Tauranga City Council Environment Committee Chair, Cr Steve Morris, says despite having only three months to plan and implement the service, both council and the glass collection contractor, Smart Environmental, are excited to start collections.

“The decision to include the glass collection service into council’s Long Term Plan was only finalised on 30 June this year, so the past three months have been very busy,” Cr Morris says.

“We’re very grateful to the Glass Packaging Forum for their $165,000 contribution to the cost of the collection crates, and to the Ministry of the Environment for their support. We’re also grateful to have Smart Environmental as our collection contractor. They have been in the industry for 25 years and currently provide kerbside collection services to 18 councils throughout New Zealand.”

Cr Morris says the next focus is to ensure residents use the service correctly so glass recycling can be maximised. The service is strictly for bottles and jars only.

“If other materials are put in the crate, it won’t be emptied. We can’t risk our glass trucks being turned away from the recycling plant because it contains too many unacceptable materials. The brochure that came with the crate and the council website have all the information about what can, and can’t, be recycled. I encourage everyone to read them, so they know what to do,” he says.

The council will be extending the kerbside collection service to include mixed recycling, rubbish and organic waste in 2021.

“These are exciting times for waste recovery and recycling in Tauranga. We are one of the last cities in New Zealand to move from privately-led to council-led kerbside collection services. We are working to ensure efficient and effective services are provided to our residents.

“Currently, nearly 70 percent of the kerbside waste our residents send to landfill could actually be recycled or composted instead. This new glass collection service is just the first step making an environmental change for the better for Tauranga,” Cr Morris says.

For more information about the new glass collection service, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/glass
or phone 07 577 7000.