Where’s a ‘green’ party when you need one?

Strange things are afoot in the beautiful Bay of Plenty. In 2018 residents were told that glass would no longer be acceptable in their recycling bins. The dominant player in the local market, Waste Management had this to say on their website: Quote.

Waste Management is changing how it collects and manages glass for recycling in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty.

This reflects our desire to increase recycling volumes, improve safety for our team, divert more recyclable materials from landfill and make recycling more sustainable in the future.

As part of this move we are also supporting a new initiative, Bins for Better Communities, where participating schools and community groups will be paid for recyclable glass collected from purpose-built bins on their premises.

Any member of the community will be able to dispose of their glass at stations located at participating schools and community groups for free.

This change will come into effect on 1 March 2018. We will no longer accept glass in the mixed-recycling bin for processing at our Mount Maunganui Recycling facility. However, glass pre-sorted into colours (clear, green and brown) will still be accepted. End quote.

Waste Management

Our local, community minded, supermarket immediately got on board with this initiative so that shoppers could drop off their bottles when they did their shopping.

There were issues that the supermarket had to deal with: other rubbish being dumped, general untidiness in their carpark, loss of some carparking spaces for the bins and so forth. But they were happy to step into the breach and support their community and support the ‘recycling’ mantra. It was the ‘right’ thing to do.

Now the electronic community grapevine reports this email from the Territory Manager at Waste Management: Quote.

Further to the letter I sent out in December, regarding the community glass bins, I?m just following up with regard to options going forward.

As you are aware, this service cannot continue in it?s present form ? subsequently a charge of $60.00 transport and $60.00 disposal per bin (plus GST), is proposed from the 1st of February 2019 to cover transport & recycling costs.

Obviously this is a significant change to the current system and we all need to decide whether to continue with this service or remove the bins completely. End quote.

Waste Management

Less than 12 months after offering to pay schools and participating groups for recyclable glass, Waste Management will now levy a charge of $120 + GST per bin.

The community grapevine was supplied with this information from the supermarket: Quote.

For our situation, we have five glass recycling bins so if we kept the status quo our weekly charge from waste management will look like this:

Transport per bin = $60.00 x 5 = $300

Disposal (recycling) per bin = $60.00 x 5 = $300

Our bins are emptied 3 times per week $600 x 3 – $1800 plus GST = $2070.00 per week

This is simply unacceptable and is very upsetting. End quote.


Obviously the supermarket is not going to shell out $2070 per week just to be a good neighbour.

It poses the question: is Waste Management attempting to get out of glass recycling altogether? Isn’t glass one of the easiest and best products to recycle?

Where is a ‘green’ party in all this? Where are the indignant tweets? What about the environment?

So it will all go to landfill. How many thousands of years does it take for a glass bottle to breakdown in landfill?

Where are the screeching greenies?

Oh, yes, sorry, forgot: Fining businesses $100,000 for supplying a plastic bag.

After a meeting with Waste Management’s General Manager for the lower North Island it seems that the community glass bins will remain. Presumably with no charge to the Supermarket.

Is there no money in glass recycling anymore? Is it to suffer the same fate as soft plastic recycling? Is recycling just another con?