You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
The Selwyn District Council's kerbside recycling processing partner, EcoCentral Ltd, has paused operations because of the high risk of Covid-19 contamination for staff at the sorting facility in Christchurch.
The volume of recycling coming in each week means the district council and EcoCentral do not have space to safely store it for sorting later.
Many offshore recycling plants are closing or suspending operations because of the pandemic, meaning there are no outlets for the materials.
District council solid waste manager Andrew Boyd said the decision has not been taken lightly.
“We’re really disappointed that this step has had to be taken," he said.
"We’re in the same position that many other areas of the country find themselves in of having to make this temporary change."
In spite of the change to the way recycling is handled, the collection process will not change, so people should keep sorting recycling and putting out their bins as normal.
“It’s really important that you continue to sort your recycling and put it out in the yellow bin as normal," Mr Boyd said.
"We’ll still be collecting it from the kerbside and we will restart the processing of recyclables as soon as possible.
"So it’s important to be ready and help us limit the amount of recycling going to landfill when we are able to start recycling again.”
What you can do:
- Continue to separate your recyclables from your general waste.
- Use paper and cardboard in your fireplace if you have one, or consider home composting these.
- If you are considering stockpiling any recycling, ensure it is clean first (to avoid odour and vermin). For plastics, the district council suggests only keeping clean plastics of grades 1, 2 and 5 as these have the best long-term options for recycling.