Lids Off, Wash, but Don’t Squash
The South Taranaki District Council (STDC) is tackling dirty or contaminated recycling head on by partnering up with local supermarkets Countdown and Pak’nSave.
STDC environment and sustainability officer Victoria Moyle says recent audits from the kerbside collection service and the Materials Resource Facility showed a large amount of contamination coming from plastic milk containers and meat packs, which is why the Council decided to focus on those two areas.
“With milk and meat being high up on the average household grocery list, we’re trying to remind consumers while they are in the supermarkets, what they need to do to ensure that we can recycle the packaging for those products,” she says.
“People, on the whole, want to do the right thing and this campaign is just another way we can remind everyone that recycling needs to be clean before it can be processed,” says Moyle.
“We’ve tried to make the guidelines easy to follow and consistent with the message; lids off, wash, don’t squash. While the recycling facility has employees to hand sort the recycling, there is no capacity for stopping to remove lids and wash the items,” she says.
“At the end of the day, if you’re not sure if something can be recycled or not it’s best to leave it out so that it doesn’t get mixed in and contaminate the rest of the recycling. Or as I like to say, if in doubt, leave it out.”
The Council’s supermarket recycling campaign starts late February and will run between the two supermarkets over the next few weeks.