Make the most of waste by the Auckland Council

5 recycling myths - BUSTED

We take a look at the 5 most common myths around recycling

Published: Tuesday 17 January 2017

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Myth 1: It goes into one truck and is sent to landfill

No way! Auckland’s recycling is sent to material recovery facilities where it is separated into steel and aluminium, paper and cardboard, plastic and glass. Once sorted, recyclables are baled in groups and sent to businesses that process or remanufacture them into new products.

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Myth 2: There’s no point in recycling – it’s all biodegradable

It takes so long for plastic, aluminium and steel to decompose that, technically, they can’t be considered biodegradable. For example, plastic bottles can take 450 years or more to decompose while aluminium cans take several hundred years. So recycling is best.

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Myth 3: Plastic bags can go in the recycling bin

Unfortunately not. The facilities where recycling is sorted aren’t set up for plastic bags – in fact soft plastics can clog up the machinery and can contaminate the material.

The good news is that shops across Auckland, including New World, Pak’n’Save, Countdown and The Warehouse, have set up collection points for soft plastics and soft packaging such as shopping bags, bread bags, frozen food bags and food wrap. This is then bundled and shipped to a facility in Melbourne that turns the plastic into outdoor furniture.

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Myth 4: Tetra Pak® packaging can’t be recycled

They can now!

Auckland households have been able to recycle Tetra Pak® packaging for several years now and with the new, consistent recycling service so can the North Shore, Rodney and Waitakere.

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Myth 5: Garden waste isn’t a recycling issue – it biodegrades in landfill

Yes, it’s true that garden waste breaks down in landfill but, unfortunately, in an environment where there is no air. This means that as it breaks down methane is produced, even years after the landfill closes. The best way to dispose of garden waste is through a collection service or composting in the garden.

Did you know?

North Shore, Waitākere, Rodney and the Hibiscus Coast are all changing to a new recycling bin system as of 1 July 2016. This means that more than 200,000 households and businesses will have the same recycling services as the rest of Auckland.