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Council hopes for glass crushing plant


Wairarapa ships about 45 tons of glass recycling a week to Auckland, but one council is hoping to change this.

South Wairarapa District Council continued discussions about the potential for a glass crushing plant to be built in Wairarapa at a council meeting on Wednesday, after mayor Alex Beijen asked if they could access analysis from Earthcare about glass recycling.

Beijen said the move to crush glass locally would be an important step in climate change mitigation along with waste minimisation.

He said he would “like to take a look at” the carbon footprint which came with the transport of glass recycling to Auckland.

Council officer Brice Neims said they were locked into a six-year contract with Earthcare – and it would be very difficult to get out of.

Beijen said he would like the council to continue conversations with Earthcare rather than let a contract stop them from doing the right thing.

The council would be considering the feasibility of a plant that seemed to be out of reach.

Beijen said all glass for the entire Wellington region was crushed in Auckland – not just the glass from Wairarapa.

He said the change in the way glass was recycled would reflect the community’s changing views surrounding waste.

He said an alternative to the way we crush glass would need to be examined.

The council did not have to consider carbon offsets for waste as it was shipped away. The amount of diesel and carbon dioxide emitted in transporting glass was not needed.

Beijen thought the whole region should look at better solutions and said there were many uses for crushed glass.

The council agreed to look at the contract to find out where there might be leeway for them to have initiatives within South Wairarapa that could be implemented rather than having to wait six years to change.

Glass has been favoured over plastic as it could be recycled indefinitely, but the only place in the country able to recycle glass was in Auckland.

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