Going tech to improve rubbish habits

December 7, 2019

Smart recycling and rubbish bins have arrived in Gisborne to help reduce litter and make it easier for the Gisborne community to recycle correctly.

The Let’s Put Litter in its Place campaign has resulted in more than 150 sets of bins being installed in 17 regions around the country including seven in Gisborne and rural locations.

Bins have been installed at Waikanae Beach and Gisborne i-Site, the summit of Titirangi/Kaiti Hill, the Botanical Gardens and outside public toilets at Te Araroa, Tolaga Bay and Matawai.

The Smart EYEfi bins have technology and features that reduce contamination by managing overflowing bins and improving ease of use and identification, said The Packaging Forum Litter Project manager Lyn Mayes.

Each set has bins for recycling, glass and rubbish.

“We trialled these bins around the country and found they not only reduced contamination levels but our audits of the pilot bins showed an improvement in overall behaviour,” said Ms Mayes.

“Eighty-one percent of items disposed of in the yellow recycling bins and 99 percent of items in the blue glass bins were correctly placed. This is a fabulous result.”

Each recycling and rubbish bin has an EYEfi unit which provides an alert when bins are nearing capacity. Bins are subsequently emptied as required, rather than on a schedule.

The bins have been designed to make their purpose clearer.

They come in “nationally-agreed” colours for recycling and waste and have signage in te reo Maori and English.

“Almost 80 percent of people have said the colours and signage make the bins easier to use,” said Be a Tidy Kiwi programme manager Richard Leckinger.

“Over the past three years we have counted litter and monitored the impact of the new bins and are seeing a measurable decrease in litter.”

In a national litter field count conducted in May of 2018 by Waste Not Consulting, an average of 19.5 items of litter per 1000m2 was counted in Gisborne, compared to the national average of 30.5 items.

Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz said while the city had a better-than-average litter record, there was always room for improvement.

“It’s great to see smart technology being used to reduce litter. We will be monitoring the data and utilising the routing technology to minimise servicing costs.

“I support the Let’s Put Litter in its Place campaign and I’m pledging to Be a Tidy Kiwi and Put Litter in its Place. I’d like to see other Kiwis doing the same.”

The Packaging Forum promotes recycling under the Government’s Love NZ brand and The Auckland Litter Prevention Steering Group, who manages wthe Be a Tidy Kiwi brand.

The $2.4 million project has received $1.72m from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund.

This investment is supported by the national advertising and consumer awareness campaign “Let’s Put litter in its Place – it’s just how we do things around here”.


This article is republished from The Gisborne Herald

December 2019.