Recycling system to be expanded

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 05:00 30/11/2012

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Rubbish recycling will be introduced to public areas throughout the Timaru district.

A three-bin system has been trialled in some parts of Caroline Bay over the last year, and based on its success Timaru District Council will now extend the system to public areas throughout the district as funds become available.

Caroline Bay was chosen for the trial with a range of bin options that could be emptied mechanically as happens with kerbside recycling. In 2010 an audit of 45 litter bins at the bay showed the majority of the waste could be composted or recycled.

Trial bins were set up at five locations on the bay, and regular inspections and feedback from the contractors indicated the public generally separated their waste material correctly, with those who could not be bothered using the red bin.

Contamination rates were surprisingly low, according to council's senior waste management officer Ruth Clarke, with the best recycling being at the skateboard park and the worst at the trial bins in the children's playground area where disposable nappies were placed in the recycling bin.

Ms Clarke said nappies frequently turned up at the Redruth recycling centre, which was a health and safety issue for staff.

There had been a few incidents of "freeloading", where the public had tried to dump household rubbish in the bins. That rubbish was generally able to be traced and the issue had been partially fixed by reducing the opening height of the bin lid.

Councillors agreed this week to go ahead with the three-bin system at public areas throughout the district and most of Caroline Bay is likely to receive the new bins to replace the existing 45 litre single bins, this financial year.

Geraldine is likely to be the next area to receive the bins due to its high tourist traffic.

Ms Clarke was confident the signs and graphics on the bins made the system easy to use even for visitors.

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- The Timaru Herald

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