While kerbside rubbish and recycling services in Auckland are continuing amid the coronavirus outbreak, the council says mixed paper and cardboard recycling will be sent to landfill.
In a statement today, Auckland Council said there is “currently no capacity in New Zealand to process Auckland’s volumes of paper and cardboard recyclables”.
Councillor Richard Hills, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee says, “my key message to Aucklanders is, still keep putting your paper and cardboard in your recycling bin as usual while we change how we deal with it in the backend."
The change comes due to the closure of the overseas processing market.
“Auckland Council sends fibre, such as paper and cardboard overseas to be recycled, but with countries around the world shutting their borders, that is not an option.
"While it isn’t ideal, we have no choice but to landfill these items at this time."
Councillor Hills said the focus is now on ensuring Aucklanders can still recycle with as little disruption as possible.
“This situation also highlights why we need to have the ability to deal with our recycling in New Zealand rather than relying on other countries.
"Pre Covid-19, Auckland Council was already in discussions on this with Central Government, and we will continue to advocate for better recycling in New Zealand and product stewardship to reduce single use packaging.”