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Recycling trial launch an ‘exciting’ development

Free recycling of soft plastics and batteries is now available Wairarapa-wide, with Carterton and Masterton councils the latest local authorities to expand recycling options for residents.

The councils have entered into agreements with Upcycle for the recycling of small household batteries from devices such as television remote controls, torches, or hearing aids.

Components from the batteries will be separated for re-use, recovery, and re-processing.

Soft plastics can also now be dropped off at Carterton and Masterton’s transfer stations and will be collected and baled at Earthcare’s Mixed Recycling Facility in Masterton before being transported to Future Post, a Kiwi company manufacturing fence posts.

A similar initiative was launched last year in South Wairarapa.

Carterton Mayor Ron Mark has welcomed the increase in recycling options.

“At home, I normally have one or two of our Carterton District Council rubbish bags every three or four months, and it’s usually full of soft plastics.

“With this announcement, I think my household could be down to zero.

“It’s up to all of us. If you want to reduce your waste and reduce your fees at the transfer station, then sort your stuff out.

“Clean them out, take them to the transfer station and dump them for free. How hard is that?”

Wairarapa Zero Waste coordinator Cody Field also welcomes the expansion of recycling services in Carterton.

“This is great news for the environment, given the damage leaking batteries does to our soil and water.”

A battery bucket is available at the council’s recycling station, and stations throughout Wairarapa.

Field said it is important to remember to take care when disposing of batteries, due to a potential fire risk, and that transfer stations can’t accept them if they’re damaged.

It’s also important to ensure the right kind of clean, soft plastics are being recycled [compostable or plant-based plastics are a no-no].

“The community has been asking for more recycling opportunities, and as soft plastics are not able to be collected from kerbside collections at present, this is the next best thing,” Field said.

“Just pop your clean, dry soft plastics into the bins at the transfer station. We will do the rest.”

Field noted the expanding end-use options for recycled soft plastics “is exciting”.

“Alternative packaging and reuse systems are becoming more frequently available to consumers, and regulation and bans of single-use plastics are also having a positive impact.

“Much of our litter is soft plastic due to the fact it is so lightweight, which allows it to get into our waterways and natural environment, causing irreversible issues for our native wildlife.”

    For more information,
    visit wairecycle.nz.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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