Government must listen to councils on recycling scheme

The Green Party is reiterating its call for legislation that would mean people could be paid for recycling drink containers, after 90 percent of the country’s councils voted for container recycling legislation at the weekend.

Palmerston North City Council, supported by Auckland Council, won 90 percent support for the scheme at the Local Government New Zealand conference yesterday

“Councils around the country know it makes sense to introduce a recycling-refund system, now we need the Government to realise it too,” said Green Party waste spokesperson Denise Roche.

“Paying people a small refund when they return bottles and cans to a recycling centre is an easy way to reduce the amount of glass, plastics, and aluminium that wrongly gets sent to the landfill.

“Less than 40 percent of drink containers are currently recycled, and they make up more than 45,000 tonnes of rubbish every year.

“Introducing a recycling-refund system has been Green Party policy for some time – it’s proven to reduce landfill waste in Norway, Canada and Sweden.

“However, National has a hands-off approach to waste minimisation, as they do for climate change and environmental protection.

“Nearly $7 million from the Waste Minimisation Fund is allocated to deal with recycling drink containers, but given that they currently account for an estimated 180,000 cubic metres of waste sent to landfill every year, you have to question whether that money’s being used correctly,” Ms Roche said.

 

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