Smart Environmental is one of only five companies to get a slice of the Government’s $36.7 million funding pie, which aims to help improve recycling infrastructure and materials recovery throughout the country.

The company, which has materials recovery facilities throughout the country and recently took over the kerbside recycling service in Napier, will receive funding to upgrade its Thames and Napier plants with a plastics optical sorter in each, with agreement in principle for up to $1 million grant co-funding.

“Currently New Zealand’s recycling system relies on a lot of manual sorting of materials so that they can be reprocessed. It’s not pleasant work, especially when people put rubbish in their recycling bin,” said Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.

“Investing in high-tech optical sorters will make for safer workplaces and speed up the sorting process to separate different materials, such as paper and plastics.”

Smart Environmental continues to invest in the Bay, with the company currently investigating building a new materials recovery facility next to its depot in Whakatu, to process all of its recycling from Wairoa to Central Hawke’s Bay, including Napier and Hastings.

The funding is part of a wider plan by government to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills and is part of the $124 million investment from the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund into a number of waste infrastructure initiatives. And with Kiwis throwing away 3.6 million tonnes of rubbish every year, it’s not a minute too soon.

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