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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:34am

Where does our rubbish go, what is recyclable and what can you do to ease the pressure on those who look after our solid waste?

Probably not questions you think about on a day to day basis.

But apart from pulling your wheelie bin out and lamenting the lack of supermarket bags for bin liners, how much does the average New Zealander ponder their rubbish and recycling?

Possibly not enough according to those who roll up their sleeves and separate the trash from the recyclables.

That’s why the Selwyn District Council alongside 12 other councils across the country have teamed up to fund a web series of videos called Wasted New Zealand. It highlights our troubles with trash and where our waste goes.

Selwyn District Council Solid Waste Manager Andrew Boyd says often there’s a “feel good” sentiment about recycling, but sometimes our separating needs a little more thought. Pines Resource Recovery Park “It was great to see this series highlighting some major frustration of ours, such as bagged recyclables – these are unable to be sorted and are sent to landfill,” he says.

Andrew says there tends to be confusion around takeaway food and drink containers. “While most containers are made out of plastic or cardboard, they aren’t necessarily recyclable in the kerbside service. Takeaway coffee cups for example should go into the rubbish, and this also applies to compostable or biodegradable coffee cups – these are not currently acceptable in the organics bin either.”

Andrew says tin, plastic and glass containers need to be empty and clean, with the lids off, if the container is to be recycled.

The Wasted New Zealand series is  available on the Selwyn District Council website.