O-I: criticism on recycling methodsO-I: criticism on recycling methods

New Zealand“s largest glass bottle manufacturer is in desperate need of recycled material and could accept all the empties from Queenstown and Invercargill – if they were not collected in, what the c…

New Zealand“s largest glass bottle manufacturer is in desperate need of recycled material and could accept all the empties from Queenstown and Invercargill – if they were not collected in, what the company calls a “silly” way. Auckland-based O-I New Zealand supplies beer and wine bottles and is investing more than NZD 85 million in a new furnace to meet present demand. According to logistics manager Aaron Ballard, the company has melted down 84,000 tonnes of recycled glass in 2009 (better for the environment), and the new furnace will increase capacity by another 70,000 tonnes. The extra furnace could enable O-I to melt down all recyclable glass in the country, but the company said it was having problems getting enough material because it had to be collected and sorted into three different colours. It was recently revealed that more than 400 tonnes of crushed and uncrushed glass has built up and could be buried in gravel pits. The company could not take this glass because it was contaminated, but a simple change in the sorting process was all that was needed, he said. ” … if for example the glass was collected separately before it went into the recycle bin with everything else, right there and then the issue stops. That“s it.““ Tom Greenwood, Invercargill City Council solid waste manager said he hadn“t spoken to O-I New Zealand about sending Invercargill“s glass to Auckland, and that the company that won the city“s recycling contract in February 2010 would have to decide about sorting the glass and transporting it to Auckland. Queenstown Lakes District Council is expecting to spend an extra NZD 15,000 a year to provide contamination-free glass. Ballard said separating the glass at the source was the obvious solution and that the council could be making money if it changed its collection process but suggestions from O-I had been without success. “We would like Queenstown to look at the topic and to be honest we haven“t had a great deal of success encouraging them to look at the topic, and we find that frustrating.” He also said that Alexandra was sorting its glass and selling it to O-I, who had used their industry leverage to drive down transport costs. The council could look at different collection methods or bottle bins where people could drop off their glass but there was no point until O-I had a firm proposal, QLDC solid waste manager Stefan Borowy said. “Those options would be explored if we had a commitment from O-I.”