Waste Management during the Covid-19 lockdown

Published on April 06, 2020

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Whanganui District Council’s Customer Services team has been receiving frequent calls about rubbish and recycling during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Council’s General Manager – Property, Leighton Toy, says. 

Mr Toy says, “Kerbside rubbish collection of wheelie bins and stickered rubbish bags is continuing throughout the lockdown, so households can continue to put out their rubbish in the normal way.”  

Rural waste collection services will continue as usual. 

The Whanganui Waste Recovery Centre in Maria Place is now completely closed until further notice to ensure the safety of staff and the public and Mr Toy says the Council’s recycling pick-up service, for those who can’t normally access the centre, has also been suspended during the lockdown. 

Whanganui Waste Recovery Centre Trust Chairman, Ken Mair, said it was not possible to ensure that protocols set by the Government, such as two-metre distancing, would be practiced at the 24/7 road-front drop off. He said trustees wished to support the Government’s lockdown protocols and not give a further reason for the public to leave their homes. 

Mr Mair says he strongly encourages people to reuse recyclable materials, or store them until the Whanganui Waste Recovery Centre is able to reopen. If this isn’t possible, people will need to put them out for regular general waste collection.  

Tips and information for managing waste while in self-isolation 

General household rubbish 

Kerbside collection of wheelie bins and stickered rubbish bags from residential addresses is continuing – collection will be on your usual days.  

Remember all rubbish bags placed for collection must have stickers and meet the collection requirements: rubbish bags must not weigh more than 10kg and must be no larger than 60 litres in size. Bags exceeding these limits will not be collected. 

Waste Management’s Midtown Transfer & Recycling Depot, at 14 Liffiton Street, is closed to the public until further notice. Commercial customers deemed essential services will still have access to the depot during the Government’s four-week lockdown period. 

EnviroWaste has closed the Wanganui Transfer Station and Recycling Centre at 27 Gilberd Street.

Recycling 

The Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre at 81 Maria Place is completely closed until further notice, but there are a few options to help manage your recyclable waste: 

  • Wash recycling well and store it until the recycling centre reopens. Storage will be easier if you flatten plastic bottles and cardboard boxes.
  • Reuse containers and other recyclable materials, making sure you clean and dry them properly first. There are great ideas for reusing recyclables on Sustainable Whanganui’s ReSource A-Z website at www.resourcewhanganui.org.nz
  •  If you are unable to store or reuse your recycling, you can dispose of it with your regular general waste collection. 

Wet wipes 

Disposable wet wipes are convenient and popular at the moment, but they can create issues in our wastewater system. They don’t break down the way toilet paper does and they collect grease, rubbish and other objects as they pass through the sewage system, often ending up as a large mass that causes blockages.  

Please put wet wipes, if you use them, in the bin, not the toilet. Even better, keep your use of them to a minimum.