A lot of trash has been spoken about the Taranaki’s new roadside rubbish collection system, but the region’s $3.9 million recycling plant kicked into gear without so much as a whisper. Reporter Taryn Utiger went for a look inside.
The men and women who sort through the region’s recycling look tough, like they are built for hard manual labour.
Maybe it’s the overalls, the hulking shoulders or their big burly arms.
Whatever it is, there’s seven of them rooted to the spot, lined up next to a conveyor belt of tradeable trash.
Waves of recycling pour towards them, their gloved hands move swiftly and delicately, sorting paper from plastic and aluminum cans from milk bottles.
The flow of recycling doesn’t stop. The conveyer belt keeps churning it outfor eight hours a day, five days a week.
It’s too loud for them to talk, too fast paced for anyone to mess around and too damn hot inside the building to focus on anything but getting through the ever mounting pile of recycling.
As cans fly and bottles bounce into their correct compartments, one of the workers flicks a shoe off the conveyer and into the rubbish chute.
It lands on a pile of other things people have tried to sneak in with their recycling.