6 Feb 2009

Recycling bags tipped for Wellington

4:33 pm on 6 February 2009

Residents of Wellington may soon have to buy plastic bags to recycle.

Strategy and policy committee members will next week decide how to cover a shortfall of $1 million in the kerbside recycling budget.

Councillor Celia Wade-Brown says the green plastic bins currently used are injuring collection workers and the rubbish blows into stormwater drains.

Recycling from Wellington is shipped to China and south-east Asia, but Ms Wade-Brown says the sales return only 6% of the total cost.

A report from council staff recommends the shortfall be met by charging for plastic bags.

The bags would cost about 60 cents, about a third of the price of rubbish bags.

The council says it will consult before adopting any changes.

The Federation of Progressive and Residents Associations is concerned about the proposal.

Secretary Tom Law says if the council starts charging for recycling bags in the current economic climate, it may put people off recycling.