Rethink Recycling: Know Where It Goes

Solid waste is a serious problem here in the Cook Islands due to limited land, it’s closeness to the sea, and the small economic base.

We must all work together and RETHINK our daily practices by simply re-examining the choices we make day to day. We have the power to affect change and work toward a sustainable future from shopping to reusing or repurposing items or materials. There are alternatives to your daily practices.

Let’s Encourage RETHINKING

Let’s reconsider how we think about recycling. From what it was 20 years ago, recycling here in the Cook Islands has improved. Why not rethink about the way you do your shopping:

  • Do you need it?
  • Did you bring your own reusable bags?
  • Can you turn it into something else after you have used it?
  • Does everyone in your family know how to recycle and put plastics into a bin?

Sorting your rubbish properly for roadside collection makes managing waste that much easier.  

It is important that household rubbish and recycling is sorted correctly – all glass, plastic bottles, aluminium and tin cans should be sorted and separated from other household rubbish.

We would like to thank the community for making an effort to recycle your plastics, tins, glassware, and aluminium.

It is recommended that you clean all food and drink containers, there’s a good chance it’ll come into contact with other items that need to be kept clean. Just give your cans or plastics a quick rinse, don’t worry about making them spotless. 

Most cans will have a paper label, which does not need to be removed. 

You should rinse your cans to remove any leftover food. This will prevent your recycling bin from smelling and reduce the risk of animals rummaging through your bin.

Give your Tin Cans a Quick Rinse

Before you Recycle - Check the 4R's

Sending rubbish to the landfill should always be the last resort when it comes to waste, so before putting bags out to be collected, always check the ‘4’R’s’.

The 4R’s are organized in order of importance. The first goal is to REDUCE the amount of waste we generate. If we use less things, we reduce the amount of waste produced. 

Recycling Guidelines

  • All rubbish should be in bags, no larger than 60 litres which is roughly 60kgs. This is especially important for glass as they are very heavy.
  • All bags should be securely tied and without rips or tears
  • Placing bags in a bin or drums stops animals from tearing the bag
  • Avoid leaving your rubbish bags overnight as dogs can tear this open
  • When recycling tins, plastic or aluminium, try to rinse these off as best as you can

ICI won't take these items

It is important to leave items that should not be recycled out as there is a high chance of unprecedented items being harmful to ICI staff that handle all waste brought to the landfill. Here are some items or materials you should not add to your recycling bin; bulky or hazardous waste will not be collected. These include: paint oil, motor oil, medical waste, car batteries or lithium ion batteries, aerosol cans, lightbulbs, or electronic waste.

It is important to take extra care when disposing of hazardous items and to do so in the proper way in your community. If not handled correctly they can harm wildlife and human health. If unsure, please contact ICI Waste Management directly.