Yellow bin plastics limited

February 17, 2021

Not all plastic belongs in the yellow bin.

That's the message the Central Otago District Council is sending out to the community as it works to educate people on how to use the kerbside bin system.

In December last year the council "reset" its bin system due to the types of plastics that are able to be recycled within New Zealand.

Waste minimisation officer Abi Hawkins was at the Central Otago A&P Show on Saturday to further educate the community about what could and could not go in the coloured bins, particularly the yellow bin.

"We really have to think about what we are putting in," she said.

"Soft plastic is the real killer."

Ms Hawkins said the scheme that collected soft plastic in bins throughout stores such as supermarkets has recently restarted in the North Island, but has no collection points in the South Island.

"This material cannot be recycled through kerbside bins and needs to be kept out."

Only plastic 2 and 5 and clear plastic 1 bottles are accepted for recycling.

Plastic packaging numbered 3, 4, 6 and 7 are no longer accepted for recycling in the yellow kerbside bins.

All other items made of number 1 plastic, other than clear bottles were not acceptable for recycling, including bottles made of coloured plastic, meat trays, punnets and biscuit trays.

Cardboard pizza boxes are also no longer accepted for recycling in the yellow bin.

However, the yellow bin is still the right place for clean aluminium and steel cans and clean cardboard and paper.

People often get caught out when packaging is promoted as "100% recyclable", such as fruit punnets.

Her words of advice were to avoid buying items covered in plastic and if people were not sure if something could be recycled, it probably could not be.

"If in doubt leave it out."