More fire bans expected after recycling surge

Last updated 14:14 22/07/2014
A fire burns on a rural property.
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BLACK SMOKE: A fire burns on a rural property.

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Pressure is going on councils to introduce more burning bans after a recycling surge followed a ban in Canterbury at the start of the year.

Container recycling increased 113 per cent in Canterbury to 36,140 kilograms in the six months after the ban compared with 16,960kg for the same period last year.

Agrecovery Foundation chairman Graeme Peters said there was a clear link between more recycling after bans were introduced. Other councils should follow the Canterbury lead or enforce bans more strongly.

"It's hard to argue with the numbers," Peters said.

"The positive stand by Environment Canterbury has had a marked impact on the environment and we are calling on other councils to implement new bans or do more to enforce existing bans."

Another 20 tonnes of plastic would have been burned or dumped on properties in Canterbury if there had not been a ban, he said.

Recycling was increasing nationally with the Agrecovery programme exceeding its 2013/2014 container recycling target of 207,000kg by more than 12,000kg.

Peters said it was encouraging to see more recycling, but this would increase further if farmers had the incentive to avoid burning plastic.

Voluntary levies paid by 60 manufacturers and distributors of agrichemical, animal health and dairy hygiene products allow Agrecovery to provide the free recycling programme to farmers and growers.

Seven agrichemical collections were held in Canterbury, Nelson, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman and Waikato during the past year.

Recycling breakdown:

Canterbury had 54,794 kilograms collected from 2013-14, up 56 per cent.

Hawke's Bay 27,060kg, up 8 per cent.

Waikato 24,005kg up 70 per cent.

Marlborough 16,050kg, up 12 per cent.

Manawatu-Wanganui 14,520kg, up 37 per cent.

Otago 14,250kg, up 44 per cent.

Southland 14,050kg, up 119 per cent.

Bay of Plenty 12,060kg, down 1 per cent.

Auckland 11,470kg, up 44 per cent.

Gisborne 10,540kg, up 57per cent.

Taranaki 5350kg, up 95 per cent.

Greater Wellington 4595kg, up 110 per cent.

Northland 4370kg, up 25 per cent.

Tasman 3631kg, up 21 per cent.

Nelson 3220kg, up 6 per cent.

West Coast 575kg, down 47 per cent.

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