Recyclable or maybe not

22/01/2008

I am no greenie, rehabilitation but I dislike to see waste, salve particularly when it is easily avoidable. Thus, cure at home we avoid packaging, reuse a fair amount and recycle the rest. It is easy to believe that whatever has stuck a recyclable label should be in fact recyclable. However, here comes the distinction between theoretically recyclable and actually (economically) recyclable.

Christchurch’s city council publishes a list of what can be recycled. If one combines that list with the problems to recycle some types of glass (pointed out in Environment’s Canterbury newsletter (PDF doc, 4 MB), there are lots of items that are supposedly recyclable (according to their labels) but are not in practical terms.

This includes plastic containers with codes higher than 2, which include polyvinyl chloride (3 PVC), low density polyethylene (4 LDPE), polypropylene (5 PP), polystyrene (6 PS) and combined plastic products (7). Think of yogurt and detergent containers, bread bags and many detergent bottles. Think of many types of glass bottles. In addition, there is also no reasonable way to dispose of used batteries.

This means that one can not trust the label, but one has to check ‘the intersection of lists’ to know what is truly recyclable in this place.

Filed in christchurch, environment, new zealand

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