Recycling right in 2021

Recycling right in 2021

Published: Friday 22 January 2021

Auckland’s recycling stayed on track, despite all the obstacles of 2020. Councillor Richard Hills shares how Auckland maintained positive results for recycling and what is unique compared to other regions.

Recycling matters: scale of recycling makes a difference. 

Aucklanders are passionate recyclers, and close to half a million households participate in the fortnightly kerbside collection. Auckland Council collects about 135,000 tonnes of recycling each year (an avg of 90 kg per person). In December alone, Aucklanders generated 12,615 tonnes of recyclables.

The size of Auckland’s recycling operation makes it easier to find markets for recyclables. Automated processes and the scale of our recycling operation makes co-mingled recycling bins possible. Smaller regions need to separate each product at the kerb because mixing them results in high contamination rates.

Recycling infrastructure is key

Many councils are reliant on manual collection and sorting, which were less able to operate during the COVID-19 alert levels. Investments in recycling infrastructure will improve recyclability and ensure more recycling can stay onshore.

The upgrade of Auckland’s plastic sorting technology in December enabled up to 35 per cent of Auckland’s plastics to be recycled here in New Zealand instead of overseas.

Read more on Our Auckland