Number 5 plastics to be recycled in Taupō District
The collection of number 5 plastics will soon resume in the district, providing the opportunity to save up to 35 tonnes of waste from landfill each year.
From February 1, number 5 plastics will join the currently collected numbers 1 and 2 plastics in the Taupō District Council’s recycling regime.
Taupō District Council’s asset manager solid waste Brent Aitken said the ability for contractors to collect number 5 plastics meant great gains for the district.
“We have been lucky enough to find a New Zealand market for number 5 plastics, which will add a further 17 per cent to the volume of plastics currently recycled in our district,” he said. “Plastic is light but it still takes up a huge amount of room in landfills so this will save space in our landfills and benefit the environment as a result.”
The district was able to recycle all plastics numbered 1-7 until October 2018 when China restricted imports of recyclables, which meant the recycling of numbers 3-7 had to cease.
Mr Aitken said since then the team had been searching for alternative avenues to recycle these plastics to continue to reduce waste in the district.
He said there were some rules around what could be recycled – only kitchen, laundry and bathroom number 5 plastics could be recycled, not outdoor plastics such as plant pots.
“We need to start small in this instance and see how well the recycling of this group of number 5 plastics goes before we can look to expand,” he said. “The things that can be recycled include lots of single-use plastic such as yoghurt, hummus, icecream and takeaway containers that are number 5.”
Mr Aitken wanted to remind people all containers needed to be thoroughly rinsed before being put out for collection to qualify for pick up. “You can find the plastic type number in the recycling symbol on most plastics, usually on the bottom of the item, so make sure it’s 1, 2 or 5,” he said.