Let's strive for a Zero Waste Christmas says NPDC

15 December 2017

New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) is urging residents to get recycling right this Christmas so we can all give future generations the gift of going zero waste by 2050.

From wrapping paper, to empty bottles, to cans, to cardboard from packaging - it can get confusing where it should all go. About 40 per cent of what we throw away in a landfill could have been recycled or composted.

NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright said every little bit helps and it costs about $10 million a year to run all of our rubbish services including our landfill and kerbside collection.

“We want all our residents to have a fantastic Christmas this year and it would be great if we also think about how much we’re throwing away. Let’s try to change our behaviour to reduce, reuse and recycle. Our Zero Waste 2050 goal is ambitious but we know it’s important for future generations to act now.”

It’s important to make sure the right rubbish is going in the right bins otherwise it makes the job of sorting out the recycling much harder. Christmas wrapping paper is fine for the yellow bin but foil should go in red bags. Cardboard and numbered plastics should also go in yellow bins but plastic bags can’t be recycled.

And if residents have had a very merry Christmas and have too many bottles for their blue bins, these can be recycled for free. Head to newplymouthnz.com to get info on what to recycle and find out how they can help the push towards zero waste.  

NPDC has an app to help you get recycling right as well. Head to the app store on your smartphone and you’ll find it by searching for NPDC Rubbish & Recycling. 

Fast facts:
It costs us about $10 million a year to run all of our rubbish services including our landfill and kerbside collection. This is paid for by rates and user fees.
About 60 per cent of our kerbside rubbish is food waste that could be composted.
Each year Taranaki throws out (into the landfill) an entire rugby field worth of rubbish.
That’s about 54,801 tonnes. Or about half a tonne per person.
Being a Zero Waste Hero is easy, using the 3 Rs:
Reduce the waste you create
Reuse what you consume
Recycle the rest.

Christmas rubbish fast facts and tips:
There is 10 per cent extra mixed recycling and 20 per cent extra glass at Christmas.
The Colson Rd recycling facility handles 450 tonnes of recycling and 300 tonnes of glass per month. 
Old toys and clothes can’t be recycled – but can be given to the op shop if they are in good condition.
Weird items included for recycling include an imitation Christmas tree, Christmas lights and ham on the bone.