Soft plastics and battery recycling

In October 2022, South Wairarapa District Council introduced a soft plastics and battery recycling trial in collaboration with The Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme, Ā Mua, Upcycle and Earthcare Environmental.

Council soft plastic collection bins were placed at the transfer/recycling stations in Featherston, Greytown, and Martinborough and at Featherston’s Ā Mua reuse centre.

The community had been asking for more recycling opportunities, and as soft plastics are not able to be collected from kerbside collections at present, this is the next best thing.

Soft plastics

Soft plastics include bread bags, fresh produce, packaging for toilet paper, cereals, courier packs, lightly foiled packs, biscuits and chippie packets, bubble wrap, garden potting mix bags, dry pet food bags – basically, anything that can be scrunched into a ball.

Please note the transfer stations do not accept compostable or plant-based plastics.

Soft plastic plays a significant role in modern society, but it is mostly single-use. Much of our litter is soft plastic due to the fact it is so lightweight, which allows it to get into our waterways and natural environment, causing irreversible issues for our native wildlife.

Around 4976 tonnes of soft plastic packaging are used by us all each year, so the collection bins are a great way to reduce the amount we are sending to landfill.

Just pop your clean, dry soft plastics into the bins when you are at any of the sites. Once the bags are collected, they will be baled at Earthcare’s Mixed Recycling Facility in Masterton before being transported to a fence post manufacturer.

Battery recycling

A free battery recycling scheme also launched in South Wairarapa in collaboration with e-waste recycler Upcycle.

This is great news for the environment, given the damage leaking batteries do to our soil and water, and to avoid short circuits, we ask you to place some masking tape over the tops of lithium and lead acid batteries.

Battery buckets were placed at each of our recycling stations and Ā Mua for small household batteries from devices like TV remote controls, torches or hearing aids.

Car batteries or damaged batteries are not accepted. A full list of what is acceptable will be at the drop-off sites and on our website.

The end use for soft plastics and batteries through the recycling process is exciting. Each full soft plastics bin makes one fencepost, bollard, or vegetable garden post made by Kiwi company Future Post, and components from the batteries are separated for re-use, recovery, and re-processing.

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