INDEPENDENT NEWS

Greens rubbish Wellington recycling plan

Published: Thu 23 Oct 2003 12:04 AM
Greens rubbish Wellington recycling plan
The Green Party is urging the Wellington City Council to reconsider its bizarre plan to replace its green recycling bins with non-recyclable plastic bags.
Green MP Sue Kedgley, a former Wellington City councillor, said she is incredulous that the Council is proposing a scheme that will result in even more plastic bags - and non-recyclable ones at that - being used in Wellington.
"I am horrified to learn that the Council is considering phasing out the durable and highly effective recycling bins and replacing them with non-recyclable plastic bags," said Ms Kedgley.
"There is an international campaign to reduce the use of plastic bags because of their environmental impact and effects on marine life, and it is quite frankly bizarre to come up with a scheme that will result in more plastic bags.
"I acknowledge that green bins are inappropriate for the inner-city collection, but they have been highly successful in the rest of Wellington. If there is a problem with items being blown about on windy days, why not use lids on the bins, as they do in some municipalities?" she asked.
Ms Kedgley was concerned that the proposed plan could result in reduced levels of household recycling.
"At the moment it is simple: recycling stuff goes in the green bin, the other stuff goes in the old black or new yellow bags. Adding more colour-coded bags to the mix could only complicate things and see more rubbish heading to the tip instead of the recycling centre," said Ms Kedgley.
Green MP Mike Ward, who has a private member's bill in the ballot to introduce a levy on plastic bags, said the council's plan was silly.
"New Zealand already throws away 300,000 plastic bags each day - it is ridiculous to think about creating more. Another plastic bag, and a non-recyclable one at that, is not a smart solution," said Mr Ward.
"Green bins have been very successful around New Zealand in bringing environmental awareness into the household. The mere presence of a green bin outside the front door is a reminder to us all that we need to think about the world we live in.
"By replacing them with multi-coloured plastic bags for different types of recyclable matter will be a burden that some families may choose not to endure and the need to recycle could be quickly forgotten," said Mr Ward. "Chances are that some people will simply use them as another rubbish bag. It shouldn't be beyond the imagination of the contractors to think of a smarter way of emptying the bins."

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