Skip to main content


Bin there, done that? Our recent recycling changes

Was it just me? But, there didn’t seem to be much of a song and dance made about the new national recycling standards the slipped into effect on 1 February. Personally, I think it’s great, no need to remember different rules when we are away from home as recycling is now standardised throughout the whole of Aotearoa New Zealand.
 |  Kat Neilson-Jones  | 

The changes aim to encourage more recycling and reduce contamination by material that can’t be used. Monday, 18 March is Global Recycling Day. This is a quick run down on the dos and don’ts for recycling. Part One this week and Part two next week.

What CAN be recycled:

• Glass bottles and jars (Green Bin). As long as they are clean and don’t have lids. Lids are too small for the machinery at the recycling centre to sort and remove. NOT for green bin: Glass bottles and jars used for medicines, glass cookware, drinking glasses, mugs, plates, lightbulbs, window or broken glass.

• Paper and cardboard (Yellow Bin) Clean and plastic free. So do put your pizza boxes, as long as you’ve removed the food. Window envelopes are ok. NOT big plastic cereal box windows. NOT Drink cartons, juices or long-life milk (these can be recycled, but not kerbside), potato chip tubes, takeaway coffee cups, foil, shredded paper (too small) tissues and paper towels (contaminated with residues).

• Plastic bottles, trays and containers – grades 1, 2 & 5 only (Yellow bin) Empty and clean, with no lid. If the label says so – remove it before recycling. NOT Bottles you normally find in the garage or garden shed (containing things such as pesticides, motor coolant or engine oil).

• Tin, steel and aluminium cans (Yellow Bin) most drink cans and food tins can be recycled. Rinse them and leave the lids attached to the tins so they can be recycled too. NOT Loose metal / tin lids and bottle caps -too small to be picked up by the sorting machinery.

The following can’t be recycled kerbside – paint cans, oversized tins and cans larger than 4 litres and other metal items like pots, pans, aerosols and foil.


To recognise Global Recyling Day the Wāhi Tukurua team will be at the Whiti Citi Market on Saturday, 16 March from 9.00am. We will be collecting handheld e-waste and batteries (gold coin donation for these items) along with promoting all things recycling.

Kat is aTrustee, Wāhi Tukurua – Mercury Bay Resource Recovery Centre Trust