An open day at EcoSort on Saturday 8 December will lift the lid on recycling the right way.
People are being invited to drop into EcoSort between 9am and noon to hear about the journey of the contents of their yellow bins – from kerbside pick-up to the processing facility and beyond.
People can also get on board and check out the recycling truck or snap up the prizes and giveaways on offer while enjoying the charity sausage sizzle at 21 Parkhouse Road, Sockburn.
Christchurch City Council Solid Waste Manager Ross Trotter says the EcoSort facility “champions recycling on a large scale”.
“Our open day aims to inform as well as inspire so that more people learn about doing the right thing when it comes to what you put in your yellow bin,” Mr Trotter says.
“We aim to recycle smart, by encouraging people to reduce and reuse where possible.”
He says the open day reveals the importance of recycling and highlights the simple errors that can degrade the value of recycled items.
When it comes to items for the yellow bins, cardboard, paper and glass are obvious examples while steel, aluminium cans, plastic containers and bottles are also ideal. However, appliances, tools, nappies, clothes, gas bottles, wood and medical waste are banned.
“EcoSort processes 25 tonnes of yellow bin contents an hour,” Mr Trotter says.
“However, up to 6 per cent of that amount ends up in the landfill because of bin contamination.
“People often put recyclable items in bags, which have to be removed, and leave food waste in containers before placing them in the yellow bin, leaving paper and cardboard damp and unusable.
“Inadvertently placing the wrong items in the yellow bin – such as clothing and up to 40 tonnes of tools and appliances a month – can cause a lot of damage to the machinery at our automated facility,” he says.
Most importantly, placing hazardous items like gas bottles and car batteries in the yellow bins can pose major threats to public and staff safety.
“We received 596 gas bottles in the yellow bins in 2017-18, with the potential to cause an explosion in a truck or at the plant,” Mr Trotter says. “We also received 451 car batteries as well as lithium ion batteries that have the potential to cause fires.”
Christchurch’s Bromley, Parkhouse and Styx Mill EcoDrop Recycling Centres include a free household hazardous waste drop-off area. The Recycling Centres also accept a range of items for free, such as furniture, electrical equipment, printer toner cartridges, work tools and bicycles.
Many quality reusable items make their way to the EcoShop in Blenheim Road, where the stock of pre-loved goods changes daily.
“By putting the correct quality items in your yellow bin collection, you are helping us collect a good standard of material that can be successfully recycled in markets both locally and internationally,” Mr Trotter says.
“We hope that more people realise we all have a part to play in resource recovery.”
There will be limited on-site parking during the open day, or visitors can park in Michelle Road.
Members of the EcoSort, EcoDrop Recycling Centres, EcoShop and Council Solid Waste teams will be available to outline the reuse and recycling services.