Posted by Matthew Farrell
By Matthew Farrell, Lizard News.
The community cardboard recycling facility at Fresh Choice Ōmokoroa has been withdrawn by supermarket owner/operators Steve and Chantal Ling. After months of warnings about the possible consequences of continued abuse by a significant minority, the fly-tipping of assorted rubbish has finally become too much for the Lings to take.
“It’s disappointing for everyone that we’ve been forced to remove the cardboard bin. Ultimately we wanted to do a little bit more to help the community with recycling,” says Steve.
“We will continue to provide the three colours of glass bins, because the vast majority of our customers who use these bins do so responsibly. We want to see this glass diverted from landfill. However, offering the cardboard facility has created a dumping ground for the less responsible members of the community who have ruined this for everyone else,” he says.
For almost 18 months, Fresh Choice has been paying grocery staff to clean the car park of bottle tops, polystyrene, nappies, kitchen, general household and commercial rubbish, newspapers and magazines, hardboard, food, plastic wrap and bottles, and Tetra Paks.
Waste Management / Environmental Green Bins stopped kerbside glass collections at the end of February 2018. It said most glass was being broken, mixed with other recycling, causing health and safety issues for workers and was ending up in landfill anyway.
The same month, an independent Waste Watchers audit found the Fresh Choice team were diverting 90% of their supermarket waste away from landfill.
Other types of waste are also becoming a problem for the Challenge service station. For now, they’ll continue to provide the public with a bin for clean, flat cardboard as a goodwill gesture to the community.
“We pay per empty of our bin and it costs us more than it should, because people are not crushing or flattening their cardboard. Last week we also had polystyrene, bags of rubbish and tin cans dumped here,” says Joann Deane.
Joann says Challenge will monitor the situation.