» The TCV forums » Sustainability » Recycling - what does your country do?

Recycling - what does your country do?

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David (admin), 6 Feb 2009 10:22 pm

Well that is an interesting question pmcke. Being a conservation ecologist I am not too qualified in making statements about recycling, but I have heard that much of NZ recycling is not actually sustainable, particularly plastics, much of which is actually shipped to china to be 'recycled'. Although there are regional variations, I have heard the North Shore (North of Auckland) is pretty on the ball in terms of recycling. I believe Auckland city may have just upgraded their recycling station too, and we now have large wheelie bins (larger than our rubbish buns) which takes plastics 1-7, paper and cardboard, glass and metal all in the same bin. I agree with your statement about the importance of awareness of recycling with children too. Fostering an awareness in recycling in my opinion is a very important thing for adults to teach their children.

pmcke, 6 Feb 2009 12:07 pm

Here in Rotorua we do not have kerbside recycling which is a bit of an issue, but we do have the most excellent recycling centre. You go down there and sort all your plastics into the different bins numbered 1-7, bottles, newspapers, aluminium and tin cans etc. It is always crowded and there are kids running around everywhere sorting things like it is a big game. They have an array of old (recycled) supermarket trollys that you put your stuff into and away you go. I think getting the public, especally kids, to sort recycled material is a great educational experience. It differentiates recycling from rubbish which you put out at the gate and someone takes it away. Aparently the percentage of material recycled in Rotorua is not far behind that of places that have kerbside recycling. Another question we should all ask is what happens to this material after we take it to be recycled? Is it genuinely being recycled? Is it being recycled in the most efficient way? Are we recycling glass or bottles?

reusable, 31 Jan 2009 08:37 pm

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smith, 28 Jan 2009 05:32 pm

Hi Gideon, this is really interesting. I read an article a short while ago that NZ was looking at recycling it's cow dung to create electricity, and that farmers with 850 cows could save up to $30,000 a year in electricty costs!! :-)

gideon, 21 Jan 2009 04:45 am

I am an african, from Zambia. My country lies between Central and Southern Africa. I have seen recycling of the following, though at small scale: - elephant dung is pressed into paper and finally books in Mfuwe national park. Tourists from europe leave notes in them. - old scrap metals from old vehicles are collected and exported to South Africa or Tanzania. - Old newspapers are processed into cheap notebooks. - Our national brewery company uses returnable bottles. - Cow dung is used to fertilize gardens in villages.

smith, 19 Jan 2009 06:55 pm

In NZ Around 65% of our rubbish could be recycled or composted instead. To reduce rubbish you can 1) shop environmentally. did you know that products with the environmental choice label have to comply with a set of criteria designed to ensure that they are easy on the environment? 2) compost kitchen scraps and garden rubbish. did you know that 45% of an average rubbish bag could be composted? some city councils run free composting courses, check out http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/services/garden/compost.asp 3) recyle all that you can and 4) make a difference at work. For more information visit http://www.sustainability.govt.nz/rubbish/reusing-rubbish

This post was edited on 20 Jul 2009 07:49 pm

rosie, 27 Nov 2008 03:04 pm

I'm currently on exchange at a Canadian university and they have a lot of recycling going on around here in ways I think New Zealand could adopt. New Zealand can do a lot better with the way people view recycling. I know that most offices now have recycling initiatives that encourage employees to recycle paper and plastics. Some universities also encourage recycling to some degree, but it would be good if this is extended to places outside of offices. Here in Vancouver almost every road side rubbish bin has bottle holders in which people can recycle their bottles instead of chucking them in with the other waste. Bottles can also be returned to certain stores for a small refund. Didn't we used to have something like this in place? It would definitely provide a small incentive for recycling. The dining hall and all cafes, restaurants and bars at the University I am at encourage students to separate their waste into compost, recyclable material and waste in order to minimise what gets taken to the landfill. The University of Auckland has recently brought in recycling bins but they aren't used as well as they could be. People still look at me strange when I would rather walk to the quad or down to the geography building with an empty bottle than dump it in the nearest bin. I definitely think we could develop a better attitude towards recycling. Anyone have any ideas? Or has anyone tried implementing a recycling initiative? I'm keen to get the waste separation going at UoA when I get back.

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