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Our Environment: Issue 12 - Spring 1997:

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Green Light For City-wide Recycling Collection

A kerbside recycling collection will begin city-wide from May 1998.

All households will be provided with a plastic bin in which to put:

• newspapers
• cardboard
• plastic bottles
• plastic milk bottles
• glass bottles and jars
• aluminium cans
• tin cans - including aerosol cans

The bin is put out on the same day each week as rubbish collection day, the materials are collected separately for recycling, and the bin returned to the property.

Market For Recovered Materials

The collected recyclables will go to the Recovered Materials Foundation where they will be processed for markets.

The Recovered Materials Foundation was recently set up by the Christchurch City Council as a charitable trust (independent of the Council) to develop local markets for recyclable materials. It also has the support of the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce, Canterbury Development Corporation, Canterbury Manufacturers' Association and the Sustainable Cities Trust, with members from these organisations on the board of trustees.

The RMF will provide research and development assistance to set up local processes to use materials. This will:

• Lessen our dependence on fickle overseas markets;

• Provide more local employment opportunities in recycling;

• Efficiently use and conserve resources locally;

• Help reduce landfill volumes in the long term; and

• Help make kerbside recycling collection more economic in the long term.

Key recyclables the RMF will be dealing with first are glass and newspaper. Currently it is a net cost to the Council to transport these materials to markets.

The glass processing system at Parkhouse Road will recover the maximum quantities of reusable bottles and jars and wash/sterilise them for local markets. A glass crushing plant will deal with the broken glass. This will produce a range of products for use in sandblasting, manufacture of glass tiles and bricks, industrial fillers, water filtration and hydroponic mediums. These are just some of the 70 different potential uses for waste glass.

Sarah Gordon

Waste Minimisation Officer


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