Tougher line on glass recycling

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 26/01/2013
Michael Martin
WARWICK SMITH/ Fairfax NZ
ON TASK: Collector Michael Martin operates Palmerston North City Council's new glass recycling truck.

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Palmerston North's new glass recycling collection trucks are on the streets, with drivers taking a sterner line on householders who put anything other than glass jars and bottles in their crates.

The updated system allows glass to be sorted into colours at the kerb, ready for immediate sale and delivery to the glass smelter in Auckland.

Rubbish and recycling asset engineer Natasha Simmons said the new method would avoid multiple handling and reduce breakages and contamination.

It would enable the recovery of nearly three times as much glass as happened under the old system, which saw about two-thirds of the collection wasted.

But Ms Simmons said it meant taking a harder line on leaving behind any rubbish or other types of glass that people put in their crates.

Pyrex, baking dishes and flat and broken glass could not be accepted.

Any glass that had been heat treated would not melt at the temperatures set at the Auckland smelter, and could contaminate a whole load.

Glass sent to the smelter had to be 98 per cent free of contamination, or the council would not get paid.

Ms Simmons said there were moves afoot to find a way to recycle other types of glass.

But for the moment, broken and other glass had to be wrapped in newspaper, preferably sealed with tape to stop it protruding, and put out in general rubbish destined for the landfill.

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- Manawatu Standard

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