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Do and don't . . . Waitaki Resource Recovery Park staff member Lauren Campbell shows which items are acceptable (on the left) and which cannot be dropped off. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

Residents keen to recycle their waste are urged to keep taking it to the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park in Oamaru’s Chelmer St.

However, they need to understand the changes in what is accepted for recycling.

From the start of this month, the collapse of global recycling markets means the park can no longer accept a range of plastics.

These are numbers 3 to 7, including coloured polyethylene terephthalate bottles and all types of trays and punnets.

Operations manager Trish Hurley said the number of drop-offs had “quietened a little bit” since the new regulations took effect.

She hoped they would pick up again as consumers learned what they could and could not recycle.

The park was at the mercy of the marketplace, Mrs Hurley said.

“There’s nothing we can do differently.”

Until the end of the month, park staff were giving people leeway and educating them on the new policies.

The solution was not to buy the plastics that were unrecyclable, she said.

It was not the fault of the supermarkets for selling such items, as they were governed by what was available to them.

Ultimately, consumers needed to get the message back to the manufacturers that non-recyclable plastics were not wanted any more, Mrs Hurley said.

The park would have “new and exciting” opportunities when its redevelopment was completed, she said. She hoped that would be within the next month.

Wanted or unwanted?

The Waitaki Resource Recovery Park accepts:

Plastics types 1 and 2 – domestic general: see-through PET plastic bottles such as soda, juice, and water bottles; harder, less flexible plastic, including all milk and cream, shampoo and detergent bottles.

Paper and cardboard – All paper, including magazines, newspaper and flyers. Brown paper and cardboard should be separated and flattened where possible.

Glass – Unbroken, clean glass bottles and jars.

Steel and aluminium – All clean steel and aluminium cans, lids, foil, pie trays and aluminum trays.

Other material – Cooking oils, used motor oil, batteries, cellphones and chargers, printer cartridges, fluorescent tubes and low-energy light bulbs.

The Waitaki Resource Recovery Park does not accept:

Plastics types 3 to 7:

3: chemical dispensers, packaging, plumbing pipes, carpet backing.

4: Cling film, squeezable bottles, bread and frozen food bags.

5: Yoghurt and margarine containers, straws, medicine bottles.

6: Meat trays, plastic cutlery, polystyrene, toys.

7: Sports bottles, baby bottles, lids, oven bags.

Glass – Window glass, light bulbs, drinking glasses/crystal.

Ceramics will be treated as rubbish.