Recycling returns to waste transfer stations

Matthew Luxon says only plastic containers with a 1 or 2 stamped on the bottom can be accepted by Mahurangi Wastebusters, but others can still be put into kerbside collections.

A month after taking over the former waste transfer stations at Snells Beach and Wellsford, Mahurangi Wastebusters is reintroducing recycling services at the Lawrie Road and Rustybrook Road community refuse centres.

Since opening in early July, Wastebusters has accepted only non-commercial green waste and rubbish at both sites, but from Thursday, August 22, they will be accepting paper, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, food grade tin cans, aluminium drink cans and certain types of single-use plastic.

Managing director Matthew Luxon says that only plastic household containers stamped with a 1 or 2 in the triangle on the bottom, such as soft drink, water, milk, detergent and shampoo bottles, or salad containers and biscuit trays, can be accepted.

“Unfortunately, like many recyclers in New Zealand, we are currently unable to find a market for plastics from 3 to 7, like cosmetic containers and yoghurt pots,” he says.

However, Matthew points out that Auckland Council is still collecting a full range of hard plastics, so local residents should make the most of that service and treat the Wastebusters sites as an overflow facility.

The fee to drop off small loads of recyclable items of up to 140 litres will be $2, with larger loads costing $15 per cubic metre. Scrap metal, including whiteware appliances, will be accepted free of charge.

Demand at the sites has been much higher than expected since they reopened, with 85-90 tonnes of refuse brought in – double Wastebusters’ own projections and 10 times what Council had predicted.

Matthew says that while this has created some challenges, the community response has been “phenomenal” and very heartening.

“We are handling about double the amount of material projected, which puts a bit of pressure on as we fine-tune systems,” Matthew says. “It is challenging starting any new business, and we are extremely grateful to our customers, staff and volunteers for the incredible support and encouragement they’ve shown us and their enthusiasm for this new community enterprise.”

Early next month, Wastebusters will officially open on-site shops where people will be able to buy reusable materials, such as timber, iron and household items. Bric-a-brac and other small items are being donated to community op shops.

Mahurangi Wastebusters was awarded a two-year contract by Council in May to run interim waste and resource recovery services while remediation works are carried out at the former landfill sites.