Bags of recycling end up at Auckland refuse station
An Auckland resident was outraged to see hundreds of recyclable plastic bottles being dumped at a refuse station.
Gerard Le Mesurier, who lives in west Auckland, was dropping off domestic waste at the Onehunga Refuse Station when he saw hundreds of clear and black plastic rubbish bags filled with plastic bottles and other recyclable items dumped.
The man dumping the rubbish said it was from the first Lions versus All Blacks test at Eden Park and it was common practice after every game, match or event, Le Mesurier said.
"We were shocked at their practice," Le Mesurier said.
* Quit these disposable plastic items today
* Isolation apathy among reasons 60000t of recyclable glass goes to landfill
* Rubbish the second most common item in recycling
* Recycling the last resort before landfill
An Eden Park spokeswoman would not confirm or deny that the dumped bottles were from the game.
Eden Park had a recycling program and encouraged patrons to use labelled recycling bins positioned throughout the venue, she said.
There were 128 recycling bins and 127 general waste bins which were regularly changed during events, she said.
"The recycle bins have clear plastic liners so that the contents can be checked visually that they are not contaminated with food waste."
The spokeswoman said during events small numbers of recycling bags could become contaminated, resulting in disposal through the general waste system.
Kim Renshaw, is the founder of Beyond the Bin, a waste education social enterprise specialising in event management.
Renshaw has helped events such as the Tauranga Gourmet Night Markets and Womad be as waste-free as possible.
Renshaw said if bins were contaminated with food or too much of the wrong item then they would often be sent to landfill.
She said event organisers could avoid this by having a waste manager who monitors and sorts the rubbish.
"Contamination such as food can be a hazard for the people working at waste management facilities."
Renshaw said big venues were making an effort to recycle as the public did not want recycling going to landfill.
"Three years ago 95 per cent of recyclable items from events would go to landfill, this has reduced to 50 per cent in Tauranga," she said.
WasteMINZ chief executive Paul Evans said if waste and recyclables were collected separately, and contamination was managed effectively, there shouldn't be a barrier to recycling bottles.
"If the recycling infrastructure is inadequate, or signage is poor, there can be the potential for significant contamination which could also result in recyclables going to landfill."