Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) is rejecting criticism it is responsible for a fall in the amount of silage film collected in the region for recycling.
Taranaki was the only area of New Zealand where the amount of silage film collected decreased in the last year, Plasback scheme manager Chris Hartshorne, of Christchurch, said.
Of the 1230 tonnes of plastic Plasback collected last year, the amount picked up in Taranaki fell from 82 tonnes to 54 tonnes. Ninety per cent of the collection consisted of silage film.
Attributing the fall to a lack of support from TRC, Hartshorne said the council's poor support of recycling was demonstrated by comments by TRC director of environmental quality, Gary Bedford last month.
Bedford said anecdotal evidence suggested waste management companies in Taranaki provided such a good service that farmers tossed all rubbish into hired bins, rather than sort plastic that could be recycled.
Hartshorne said the council should make the collection of all farm plastic a priority and be encouraging reuse and recycling of resources instead of talking about rubbish.
"Does he think farmers sort rubbish before burning it? They'll chuck it all in a hole in the ground and throw in a match. It doesn't burn hot enough so it creates a problem of dioxins."
Instead of recycling plastic, farmers were dumping or burning it. "What sort of help is that to us?"
While the Plasback collection fell in Taranaki, AgRecovery reported a 95 per cent increase in the weight of plastics recovered last year, the third highest regional per centage increase in New Zealand.
Bedford said the council's track record demonstrated it promoted and encouraged recycling and other forms of waste reduction across many sectors.
Plasback and other recycling services aimed at farmers were promoted in a council brochure given to farmers by land management officers during visits. Plasback's service was promoted on the council website and featured prominently in a series of waste minimisation case studies prepared by the council for general distribution, he said.
- Taranaki Daily News