Putting garbage in its rightful place

by Andy Bryenton

A recent spate of illegal dumpings, including a Friday morning pile of refuse befouling Hoanga Road, has led to calls for greater responsibility around the disposal of household waste.

At the same time, those who deal with the day by day business of recycling and disposing of waste in the proper fashion want people to know the rules around rubbish pick-ups and recycling. For example, authorities advise that it is not accepted practice to fill a non-approved plastic bag with waste and tie it closed with one of the approved blue Kaipara rubbish bags. With this month slated as one in which to reduce plastic consumption, it’s a good time to explore ways to cut back on the cost of managing waste the right way.

Social media respondents and citizens used terms such as ‘disgusting’ and ‘selfish’ to describe the actions of roadside illegal dumpers. Stiff penalties of up to $5000 exist if and when the council catches up with those responsible, and often an examination of the offending rubbish will point directly at the culprits, even though this ‘forensic work’ is a dirty job to have to tackle.

One easy way to slash rubbish costs is to recycle plastic. Currently, yellow plastic bags (which are themselves recycled when used) are available to separate plastics from true refuse. It’s even more economical to bring approved recyclables such as selected plastics and glass direct to a refuse transfer station, where a whole vehicle load costs just $2 to process. Staff ask that all items are washed and plastics flattened to help in the recycling process. By using just this one trick, it’s possible to keep blue bags lighter and thus spend less on rubbish removal.

Visit kaipararefuse.co.nz/page/what-and-where-you-can-recycle for all the info.