Marlborough’s waste management systems are “impressive”, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage says.
The minister toured the resource recovery centre on Friday last week and got a close-up view of how Marlborough deals with its waste.
Council solid waste manager Alec McNeil and Metallic Sweepings manager Trevor Sheldon told the minister that the key to the system was the sorting by hand from recycling bins on the street, and the integrated processes used by the community and business.
Trevor says rubbish teams pick up 1500 tonnes a year and that is sorted in the truck first, meaning that the plastic, paper, metal and glass stays clean. There are still markets for recyclable materials he says, as long as material like cardboard and plastics are clean and sorted well into the separate types of material. As well as earning money, recycling and materials recovery diverts significant volumes of waste from the landfill, prolonging its life.
Marlborough achieves clean recyclable materials by keeping them separate from and sorting recyclables by hand, starting from the recycling crates on the street.
Using wheelie bins can lead to people putting rubbish in with recyclables, which contaminates the materials, imposes extra sorting costs on the collection and recycling business operator and makes the products less attractive to buyers. The commercial recovery centre where people leave household rubbish and industrial waste is sorted also diverts rubbish from the landfill.
Minister Sage says Marlborough’s setup for dealing with its household waste and recyclables is impressive and gives the region a significant advantage in coping with the challenges created by China moving to ban the import of waste and recyclables.
“Marlborough has kept it simple for households and its commitment to avoiding co-mingling of waste and recyclables makes it easier for everyone, reduces costs and increases income.”
For further information contact Alec McNeil on 03 520 7400.