Pressure on to cut rubbish

Last updated 05:00 03/02/2014

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New Plymouth residents are being asked to try even harder to recycle their rubbish.

While recycling increased by 21 per cent the New Plymouth District Council wants that doubled.

The pressure is on to limit waste and recycle more in order to extend the life of the Colson Rd Landfill - due to close within the next five or six years at its current rate of use.

Figures show that in 2013 the volume of recycling collected from the kerbside was 21 per cent greater than in 2012 - up to almost 4000 tonnes from 3300 tonnes the previous year.

However, more material was being thrown away. Residents sent 11,400 tonnes of rubbish to the landfill in 2013, up 6 per cent on 10,800 tonnes in 2012.

"It's fantastic to see so much more material being recycled, although if we could also reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill we'd be able to keep the landfill operating a little bit longer," council compliance manager Kimberley Hope said.

On average, a 60 litre rubbish bag currently comprises 40 per cent general waste, 33 per cent food waste, 20 per cent recyclables and 7 per cent green waste.

"We would really like to capture that 20 per cent of recyclables in rubbish bags and have it go to the recycling processing facility instead of the landfill," said Ms Hope.

She said increasing tonnages could be because of higher consumer confidence leading to more things being bought and more waste generated.

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- Taranaki

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