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Construction of new materials recovery plant well underway

28 August 2008

Work is progressing to schedule on the development of the new Materials Recovery Plant at Parkhouse Road for Christchurch’s new Kerbside Collection for domestic waste.

The new building will house a multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art plant processing up to 30 tonnes of recyclables an hour, separating cardboard, newspaper and mixed paper, glass, steel, aluminium and mixed plastics, says Meta New Zealand CEO Ian Hay.

"The 4000 square metre facility will use the latest technology from Australia and America to automatically sort paper and remove glass from the paper content, a magnet will remove steel from the co-mingled waste stream; aluminium will be separated by eddy current technology and plastics by optical sorting.

"Computer controlled cameras will identify plastics by type and these will be separated using compressed air."

Mr Hay says all elements of the line are computer controlled and are fully integrated.

The plant is on schedule for completion at the end of January 2009, ready for the roll-out of the new recycling service in February.

The new materials recovery plant is important in helping Christchurch to achieve it goal of becoming the most sustainable city in New Zealand, say City Council Waste Manager Mark Christison.

"Almost 45% of the material paced in the current black plastic rubbish bag is recyclable. The new larger 240-litre wheelie bin will enable residents to recycle more of their waste stream, thereby helping the city reduce by one-third the amount of domestic waste going to landfill."

Mr Hay says Meta’s investment in this new plant highlights its commitment and the key role it will play in diverting waste from landfill.

"Meta is currently working to find local solutions for the materials which will be recovered under the new Kerbside Collection.

"Success of the new service will be reliant on residents recognising what can be accepted for recycling and how it needs to be prepared, such as all cans being thoroughly rinsed and free of food scraps, plastic bottles washed and caps put back on and plastic shopping bags placed inside one bag and tied," Mr Hay says.

Details of the roll-out of the new bins for the Kerbside Collection will be announced towards the end of next month.

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