New trucks boost value of city's recycled glass

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 17/12/2013

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The amount of money the Palmerston North City Council is making out of recycled glass looks likely to double since new glass collection trucks went on the road in January.

The drivers of the trucks sort glass into colours at the kerb, ready for transport directly to O-I New Zealand in Auckland for use in new glass products.

The goal was to reduce waste - with up to two-thirds of the glass previously collected not fit for recycling because it was too broken or was contaminated with rubbish.

While the trucks had helped, council rubbish and recycling assets engineer Natasha Simmons said Palmerston North residents had also improved their recycling habits, and collectors were finding less contamination in the glass bins.

The amount of glass collected has increased by more than 40 tonnes a month, a 42 per cent increase.

Waste operations manager Allan Davey said it was an outstanding result that Palmerston North residents should feel proud of.

The improvement had prompted O-I New Zealand to visit the council's resource recovery team to find out how it was done, with a view to sharing tips with other recycled glass collectors.O-I NZ sustainability manager Penny Garland said the quality of recycled glass was critical to ensuring it was able to be recycled into jars and bottles.

She said about half of the glass collected around the country at the moment was unfit for recycling.

The company makes glass packaging that contains about 50 per cent recycled glass, and it hoped to achieve a higher recycled content as more councils adopted kerbside colour-sorting processes.

Ms Simmons said the council would renew its messages to residents early next year about keeping rubbish and non-recyclable glass items such as lids and light bulbs, Pyrex, mirror glass and window glass out of their crates.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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