In March next year Wellington City Council will be changing the way households recycle by introducing free 140-litre wheelie bins for recycling paper, metals and plastic. Recyclable glass will be collected in your existing 45-litre green recycling crate.
The change to wheelie bins is expected to increase recycling in the city by 40 percent and reduce the risk of injury for the workers who lift the bins. Another benefit is that almost all of the city's recyclables will be processed in New Zealand.
If you live in an area where a wheelie bin can easily be delivered you will be asked if you do not want a 140-litre wheelie bin. If, however, you live in an area with hilly terrain and access issues, you will be sent a letter giving you the option of receiving see-through recyclable bags for your plastics, paper and metals instead.
The Council's CitiOperations Manager, Mike Mendonca, says the letters will be hitting people's mailboxes this week and encourages residents to respond within the deadline.
"It's important for people to realise that if we do not receive a response from you, we will supply you with a wheelie bin.
"However, we're trying to make it as easy as possible for people to let us know whether they want a wheelie bin or not by going online to Wellington.govt.nz, or alternatively filling out the enclosed form and sending it back to us, using the reusable envelope provided.
"We need to receive people's responses by Thursday 18 November." The reason the letters are going out five months before delivery of the bins in March 2011, Mike says, is for logistical reasons.
"We need to ensure plenty of lead-time for the manufacture and distribution, and in order to accurately estimate the number of wheelie bins required. That's why we need to know now.
"The closer we get to the estimated number, the better the price and cost to residents."
When the scheme is introduced next year the recycling collection day will remain the same - however the wheelie bins will be collected on alternate weeks to the glass recycling bin. More information on these changes and what can be recycled will be provided when your wheelie bin is delivered.