South Wairarapa District Council is now accepting plastic types 1, 2 and 5 in their kerbside recycling

SWDC has expanded its recycling capability and as of 1 April 2021 will be accepting plastics 1, 2 and 5 in their kerbside recycling scheme. Previously the recycling facilities were only able to deal with Plastics 1 (PET) & 2 (HDPE) but SWDC now process number 5 plastics. 

Plastics numbered 1-2 and 5 are recyclable and include soft drink bottles, sports bottles, water bottles, milk bottles, cleaning products, and 2-litre ice-cream containers – go ahead and pop these into your wheelie bin. Plastics that have the number 3, 4, 6 or 7 on them are “disposable” plastics, we encourage you to avoid using these plastics in the first place if you can.

Plastics numbered 3, 4, 6 and 7 (disposable) include: yoghurt pots, takeaway grocery bags, squeezable bottles, hard containers, medicine bottles, plastic plates/cutlery. Unfortunately, plastics numbered 3, 4, 6 and 7 are no longer able to be recycled because of changes in the global recycling market.

Residents can find a plastic item’s ‘number’ by looking for the small, moulded recycle triangle – usually on the bottom of the container.  Be aware that lids are sometimes made from a different plastic than the container.  All separate items, both lid and container, must have numbers 1, 2 or 5 on them for them to be appropriate for curbside recycling.  Once the number has been verified it can be placed into the council recycling bin as normal.  

Wairarapa Councils have been stockpiling plastics that can’t be recycled in the hope a market will open up internationally. Luckily, these types of plastics only make up between 3-5 per cent (based on weight) of what Wairarapa residents put in their recycling bins.

SWDC encourages residents to avoid purchasing single use plastics whenever they can. Local businesses and residents have done a wonderful job in curbing plastic bag use and there are many other ways to reduce your plastic footprint:  Consider buying in bulk, use and reuse paper produce bags, grow vegetables at home, and use refillable coffee and water containers when on the go.   The key is to make only one small change at a time.

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