6 May 2020

Auckland Council secures overseas market to restart some recycling

4:04 pm on 6 May 2020

Recycling of paper and cardboard will resume in Auckland this month, but some plastics will be sent to landfill.

Bales of recycling

Bales of recycling Photo: (Photo by Bas Emmen on Unsplash)

Auckland Council says it has secured an overseas market for up to 4000 tonnes of mixed paper and cardboard.

However, a market has not been secured for plastics numbered 3 to 7, which will now be separated out after collection and sent to landfill.

According to the council, these plastics are more difficult to recycle and represent less than 4 percent of reusable waste material in Auckland.

It could take at least three months before adequate markets resume for plastics, while recycling markets for paper and cardboard will be evaluated on a month to month basis.

Environment and climate change committee chair Richard Hills has urged residents to keep putting out recycling as normal while a solution was found.

"We will make sure we recycle everything we can and take out what we can't at our end," he said.

Hill said Auckland has the most extensive recycling collection system in the country and even with the market disruptions, 96 percent of materials including aluminum, steel, glass, paper, and most plastics were being recycled.

He said the requirement to send some plastics to landfill highlights the need for New Zealand to deal with our recycling onshore instead of relying on other countries.

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