Council should accept free recycling bins for Ohakune

Press Release 13/10/2011

The Ruapehu District Council should let common sense prevail and accept the generous offer from Love NZ to install free recycling bins in Ohakune, says Katherine Rich, Chief Executive of the Food and Grocery Council (FGC).

FGC is responding to news reports that a local community board has advised the Ruapehu District Council not to allow free recycling bins in Ohakune. A community board member is quoted as saying ‘people should be encouraged to take their recyclables to the transfer station. Give people the option and they will abuse it.’

“Encouraging people to recycle is not abuse, it’s fantastic. The board is arguing against the free bins on the bizarre grounds that locals and visitors will actually use them. To increase recycling, we need to make it more convenient and accessible – not less.

“Rather than recycling in the town, the board instead wants people to walk with their rubbish for up to thirty minutes to the existing transfer station. Faced with that trek, most people would simply throw their recyclables in the existing rubbish bins. It’s doubtful that any local or visitor to Ohakune would be so dedicated that they’d traipse up to thirty minutes out of town to recycle a plastic drink bottle.

“That is the beauty of the Love NZ initiative. It installs free recycling bins right beside traditional rubbish bins at key points around the country. Love NZ is a fantastic nationwide sustainability initiative designed to encourage more recycling inNew Zealand. FGC members such as Lion, Coca-Cola Amatil and The Coca-Cola Company are key members of the Love NZ programme because they share that commendable goal.

“Love NZ is offering to install the recycling bins at no cost to ratepayers. The value of this offer to the Ruapehu District Council is a substantial $29,000. If implemented, it will make it easier for people in Ohakune to do the right thing. We hope the Council will accept and support Love NZ’s generous proposal. It would be shame if people in this busy town missed this opportunity because of some short-sighted thinking by the local community board.

“When it comes to encouraging local recycling, Ohakune would know better than most that the carrot is always better than the stick”, Mrs Rich said.