Hastings residents will have to wait until July before the kerbside collection of plastics and tin cans resumes after a nearly two month pause.

The Covid lockdown happened just as Hastings Council was in the process of changing contractors from GreenSky to Smart Environmental, with the hand over not possible under Level 2

Smart Environmental was expected to take over on May 1, but experienced delays importing specialist equipment and were unable to have truck builders prepare the new purpose-built vehicles for hands-free bin pick up.

GreenSky agreed to extend their contract to provide a limited service picking up glass, cardboard and paper, but, having already sold their building and decommissioned some equipment, were unable to collect plastics and cans even under Level 2.

Plastics and cans, which many residents placed in their orange refuse bags, including Napier collections, went direct to the landfill as safe working requirements prevented sorting facilities from operating.

Hastings group manager asset management Craig Thew said council was keenly aware the community was anxious to recycle plastic and cans, and for rural recycling centres to be reinstated.

“We are really looking forward to resuming collection of plastics and cans in July with the certainty they will actually be able to be recycled.” The delivery of 120 litre wheelie bins will begin from the end of May.

Book for recycling centres

Recycling centres at the Henderson Road and Blackbridge transfer stations are open to take recycling, but people must ring to make a booking before dropping off material.

Plastic and cans are accepted at these sites, as the contract with Waste Management Ltd has been extended to enable collection, sorting and recycling of these items at their Napier facility.

Rural recycling stations are also making a staged comeback. Thew acknowledges it’s been a long wait for rural communities and was pleased they will soon have access to this service again.

He was concerned, however, about “regular occurrences of illegal dumping, recycling not being separated correctly, or still containing foods and liquids … Even worse items such as used nappies and animal waste being dropped at these stations.”

Thew said such contamination or dropping off of non-recyclable plastics like polystyrene means such items end up in the landfill. “In some cases it is happening so often it is putting this service in jeopardy.”

Bins at Tutira, Poukawa, and Maraekakaho will be back in operation from Saturday, May 23 and at Waimarama and Pukehamoana the following week. The Martin Place site in Havelock North is still being worked on to meet safe operation requirements.

Napier has continued to collect recycling and rubbish as normal, although until May 18 plastics, tin and aluminium went to the landfill. Normal collection and recycling has now resumed.

Napier’s Redclyffe Transfer Station is open to the public and will be accepting general waste, green waste and recycling, but requires people to book online or phone for recycling to be accepted.

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