YEAR IN REVIEW: Over 200 glass recycling crates rejected on day one of Tauranga kerbside service

Bay of Plenty Times Year In Review takes a look back at 2018 and republishes some of the top stories of the year. This one was originally published in October and was one of the most-read stories on

An estimated 200 glass recycling crates were rejected, most for being too full, as Tauranga City Council’s new kerbside collection service started today.

Mount Maunganui and Omanu were the first suburbs to be visited by the Smart Environmental trucks contracted to provide the rates-funded service.

NZME saw dozens of crates left full and affixed with yellow stickers denoting the reason for rejection.

A council spokeswoman said contractors estimated about five per cent of crates were rejected, mostly for being overfilled or containing unaccepted materials.

She said crates should not be filled past the top edge as the bottles and jars could “easily’ fall out when lifted and smash, causing a hazard for collectors and footpath or road users.

An estimated 85 per cent of the crates delivered to the 4300 residences in the area were put out on the kerbside for collection, demonstrating a keen uptake of the service, she said.

Uncollected glass recycling bin due to overfill on Oceanbeach Rd, Mount Maunganui. Photo/George Novak
Uncollected glass recycling bin due to overfill on Oceanbeach Rd, Mount Maunganui. Photo/George Novak


spotted some rejected crates with precarious mounds contained only by a ‘fence’ of bottles around the rim, but others were filled only a centimetre or two above the rim.

The rejections generated hundreds of comments on social media.

Some people said the hard-line strategy would just cause people to throw their glass in the bin instead.

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Others complained the bins were too small and poorly shaped with tapered sides that made it harder to keep bottles contained.

Some pointed out that the rules were clear in the information the council put out pre-collection.

One observer on the Mount Maunganui Notice Board Facebook page said the crates allowed for “one beer per day and one bottle of wine per week and a jar of pickled onions.”

Another posted contact information for Alcoholics Anonymous.

Mount Maunganui/Papamoa ward councillor Steve Morris said he “appreciated the enthusiasm” of the over-fillers.

“It’s a new service so it’ll take time for people to get used to how it works.

“The first one was always going to be a big one and people have been saving up recycling since the crates were delivered last month.”

He said people could get a second crate for an additional $26 a year or 50c a week.

“Some people don’t want one, others want bigger ones. Hopefully, we’ve got the right size for most people.”

The fortnightly service will continue to be rolled out through the city this week, with Papamoa due for a visit tomorrow.

Readers’ comments

Shaaz Hussain

Mine got picked up. I followed the rules to the T. It’s not that hard

Margaret Calkin Make it hard and people will stop recycling and it will all go in the general rubbish.

Karlie Morrow I think they could have been lenient on their rules for the first pick-up, left their little yellow sticker and mentioned the fact the bins wouldn’t be picked up in future.

Lynn Forde We are paying for this service, unasked for. Too many rules, cannot put it out if there are not enough bottles, same if there are too many

Paul McKerrow It’s great to have another glass bin for our glass run to the recycling centre.

– Source: Bay of Plenty Times Facebook page

NZ Herald

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