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Last modified: 01 Dec 2020 10:48am

A team of four is hitting the streets from this week to support Selwyn residents to recycle right.

Since the Level 4 lockdown the Council has seen an increase in the number of loads of recycling that could not be recycled and were sent to landfill because of contamination. Seven percent of loads (31,380 kg) had to be sent to landfill in the last month alone.

The contamination crew will be helping by providing guidance on how to improve recycling.

Council Solid Waste Manager Andrew Boyd says over the past six months the Council has provided updated bin stickers and magnetic easy recycling guides to residents, and run newspaper and social media advertising to support good recycling. The contamination crew is the next step to help people.

The team will be checking the contents of recycling bins and providing information to householders where they have put the wrong items in.

“We know that Selwyn people care about their recycling, and that it can be confusing,” he says. “By having the crew on the street, they’ll be able to provide specific information to households about items they may have mistakenly thought were okay to recycle.”

Where there is a small amount of contamination, the bin will still be collected, but the crew will leave an information tag on the bin handle letting people know about items in their bin that could not be recycled. If there is a large amount of contamination then the bin won’t be collected that week and people will be advised about the contamination.

“This is so we can avoid contaminating the rest of the recycling load, and having to send it to landfill,” Mr Boyd says.

In extreme cases — where people consistently put out large quantities of items that can’t be recycled — the Council may consider removing bins from households, but Mr Boyd says the focus will be on helping people first.

“We’re dedicated to looking after Selwyn by doing our best with rubbish and recycling. We’re not out here to tell people off, we want to help people to recycle right, and providing advice directly should help to clean up the recycling”.

To find out more about recycling right check out our recycling page.

Two people checking recycling bin