Recycle smart with bright new bins

Recycling just got smarter and brighter with new cleverly designed bins to improve recycling and collection launched by Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today.

In the Wellington CBD Eugenie Sage launched a set of four smart bins, one of 10 sets being rolled out across the city under a pilot initiative, which is part of a $1.7 million grant provided to The Packaging Forum from the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF).

“The new locally made bins stand out from the crowd – their bright colours make it easy for people to understand which one to use for what and their smart design improves collection by letting operators know when it’s time to empty them,” Eugenie Sage said.

The bins are an initiative of packaging industry collective, the Packaging Forum. Fifty sets of bins are being installed across five pilot regions: Wellington, Tauranga, Rotorua, Marlborough, and Queenstown Lakes. The Packaging Forum worked with local manufacturer AE Tilley to design the colour-coded recycling and rubbish bins.

“The bins feature “eye-fi” technology which lets operators know when they are getting full and need to be emptied. This should help keep city streets clean and reduce servicing costs for operators.

“The bin design will help people put the right containers in the correct place.  New Zealanders and visitors want to do the right thing and the new bins make it easier.

“Keeping cans, glass and recyclable plastic clean and separate from food and landfill waste is crucial to making recycling viable. Mixing waste with recyclables reduces their value.”

Feedback from the pilot regions will inform the roll out of the bins in new regions during 2018 and 2019 as part of the “Litter Less Recycle More” WMF project, jointly managed and funded by The Packaging Forum and the Auckland Litter Prevention Steering Group. It is being promoted through the joint brands of Love NZ and Be a Tidy Kiwi.

Eugenie Sage also announced that the Packaging Forum’s Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme has been made an accredited product stewardship scheme. 

“The scheme means people can return soft plastics such as shopping and bread bags to supermarkets and other major retailers around the country. 

“Plastic bags and other soft plastics are a hazard to marine life and because they can break down into microplastics in the oceans, are also a hazard to human health. Stopping plastics from getting into streams and the sea is the first step in reducing the ocean plastic problem,” Eugenie Sage said.