Rubbish and recycling collection

Weekly rubbish and recycling by the Council.

Find information about weekly kerbside rubbish and recycling collection - including your local collection day, what you can recycle, how to replace your recycle bins and what to do if your rubbish is missed.

Please have your rubbish and recycling items at the kerbside before 7:30am on the day of collection.

There are no collections on Christmas Day or Good Friday. If your collection is on or after one of these days, it will happen one day later. Kerbside collections take place as usual on all other public holidays.

If you don't live on a rubbish collection route, please take your rubbish bags and recycling to the nearest intersection with a collection route, or to your nearest rubbish and recycling station.

If your bags are not collected, please let us know using the link below.

Household rubbish and recycling collection issues

Find your collection day

You can view your collection day on our colour-coded Rubbish and Recycling Collection Days map. The map also shows the locations of the rubbish stations. 

Open the Rubbish and Recycling Collection Days GIS map

Rubbish collection bags

You can use an official Council rubbish bag or any other approved bag as long as it has an official rubbish sticker on it. Official bags and stickers are sold at most dairies, service stations and supermarkets.

Approved container statement(PDF, 58KB)

Non-official bags must be 65 litres or less (large kleensak or black trash sack for example). Oversized or garden bags, even if only partially filled, won't be collected.

An image showing kerbside rubbish collection in the District.

Charges for rubbish collection bags

Charges for transfer stations and official rubbish bags for kerbside collection are set annually.

The current charges are:

  • Official rubbish bag (65-litre) or sticker $3.00
  • Small rubbish bag (35-litre) $1.80

Red and blue recycle bins

Each household is entitled to two recycling bins, one red bin and one blue bin.

An image of a red and blue recycling bin provided for kerbside collection with plastics in the red bin and glass in the blue bin.

What goes in which bin?

An image showing information about what goes in which bin and about paper and cardboard. Information is provided below.

Blue bin

Blue bin is for clean, unbroken glass bottles and jars of any colour with lids removed.

Red bin

Red bin is for plastics 1, 2, and 5, metal food and drinks cans, aerosol containers and clean foil plates 

Paper and cardboard

Paper and cardboard should be kept separate from the other bins, flattened into a small pile, in a bag or flattened box

Where to get the bins?

You can get red and blue bins from the below locations:

Please note that you can no longer pick-up recycling bins from Forum North. 

Damaged or replacement bins

If your bin is damaged, stolen or you have moved into a property where no bin has been left, you can pick up a new one.

Please don’t bring in your old broken bin to prove the need for a new one. If you are not able to visit in person, a friend or neighbour can pick one up for you.

You will need to let the team know why you need a new bin. If you need an extra bin (on top of the two you already have) it will cost $15.

You can recycle your old bins by taking them to a transfer station. You can use them for any other purpose or break them into smaller pieces and put them in your rubbish for kerbside collection.

Moving house

Your recycle bins belong to your property. If you move house, please leave it behind for the next occupants.

Tips for kerbside collection

  • Remember to wrap any sharp objects before putting them in your rubbish.
  • Please double-bag tissues or other potentially hazardous items.
  • Plastic bottles need to be rinsed, squashed flat (if possible) and lids removed before you put them in your red recycling bin.
  • If you have more items than can fit into a standard recycling bin or rubbish bag, please keep the excess until the next week's collection or take it to a rubbish and recycling station.
  • Whiteware, hazardous waste, and e-waste goes to rubbish and recycling stations.

What can I recycle?


  • Yes: glass bottles and jars - with lids removed.  
  • No: window glass, light bulbs, crystal, ceramics/pottery, drinking glasses, or broken glass.

Put clean, unbroken glass jars and bottles in your blue bin

Paper and cardboard

An image showing paper and cardboard recycling.

  • Yes: newspapers, magazines, junk mail, envelopes, flattened cardboard boxes, shoe boxes, cartons, old phone books.
  • No: plastic coated paper and card - for example, cardboard milk and juice containers.

All paper and card should be flattened and placed beside your recycle bins. You can tie it in a bundle, put in a plastic bag or into a flattened cardboard box.

Make sure all paper and card is folded into a bundle no bigger than your red recycling bin. If you are putting your paper and card into a box, make sure the box is no bigger than your red recycle bin. 

Paper and card do not need to be separated from each other, simply separated from other recycling (glass, plastic, metal etc.).


Recyclable plastic numbers  

  • Yes: all plastics marked '1', '2' and '5' (except containers of motor oil and plant pots, please see below). Maximum size of 4 litres for all plastic containers - larger ones cannot be collected at kerb side as they take up too much space in the truck. Plastic bottles need to be rinsed and lids removed. Lids should be put in your rubbish.
  • No: plastic bags.

Plastic bottles that contained motor oil, even if they are marked with a '1', '2' or '5', as the oil contaminates the plastic and is difficult to clean off. Plant pots marked number '5' can be recycled via Mitre 10 Garden Centre.


  • Yes: aluminium drink cans, steel food cans.

Do not squash them – squashing makes them harder for the machine to sort.

If waste is unsuitable for kerbside collection, it can be dropped off at rubbish and recycling stations:

Rubbish and recycling stations

What can't go in your kerbside recycling?

Coffee cups and lids

These are not recyclable due to plastic inner lining. Coffee cup lids are also not recyclable.

Broken glass

These are safety hazard for collectors, wrap up carefully and place in your rubbish.

Food encrusted and / or greasy containers

Contaminated containers cannot be recycled, so make sure they are clean.

Liquid paper board cartons

Liquid paper board cartons (e.g. Tetrapak) are not commonly recyclable due to mix of paper, plastic and aluminum making up the layers.

Find out what can be recycled elsewhere

What can be recycled elsewhere?


A user-pays recycling service is available at Re:Sort and our rural transfer stations for old TV sets and computer screens.

E-waste from consumers and small businesses can be dropped off free of charge at Noel Leeming - Whangārei Supa, Okara Shopping Centre, Port Rd, Whangārei - as part of an e-waste recycling service run by TechCollect NZ.

E-waste accepted includes laptops, desktops, cameras, mobile phones, tablets, printers and accessories.

TechCollect NZ (

You can also drop off unwanted mobile phones for recycling with RE:MOBILE. Drop off locations include 2degrees, Spark or Vodafone retail stores, Resene ColorShops and Noel Leeming.

Mobile drop off locator (>


Household lightbulbs can be dropped off for free at Mitre 10 as part of their lightbulb recycling programme run with Interwaste.

Light bulb recycling (


Household and power tool batteries can be dropped for free at Bunnings Warehouse as part of their national battery recycling programme.

Recycling batteries (

Soft plastics

Soft plastics can be dropped off for free as part of the Soft Plastic Recycling scheme from the Packaging Forum. Participating stores are The Warehouse, Pak N Save, New World Regent as well as Countdown stores in our District.

Soft plastic refers to grocery bags, bread bags, bubble wrap, plastic wrappers of products such as biscuits, chips, anything you buy that has a soft plastic sheath.

Even the thin foil-like plastic sleeves and packets that some biscuits, chocolate bars, crackers and chips come in are fine to be recycled as well as foiled coffee pouches.

Have a look on the Soft Plastic Recycling website for a full list.

Soft Plastic recycling information (

Liquid paper board cartons

(e.g. Tetrapak)

If you live near Ngunguru, there is a saveBOARD collection scheme running at the Ngunguru Sport and Recreation Club where you can drop off cartons for free.

Cartons must be cut open, flattened, washed and dried before dropping off.

Drop-off used beverage cartons (

Where does your recycling go?

Glass is recycled in a plant at Auckland. The glass is then mixed with other raw materials and fed into a furnace where it is melted down to make bottles and jars.

Cardboard is sent to a mill in South Waikato for processing. This mill uses recycled cardboard and new wood fibres to make new cardboard.

Paper goes to an Auckland mill to be processed. This mill uses 100% recovered paper to make corrugated cardboard.

Tin cans and all plastics go to Auckland, where they are separated before being sent on for recycling.

Recyclable plastics 1, 2 and 5 depending on the type, are either processed here in New Zealand or sent to Australia and Southeast Asia to be made into just about anything, for example buckets, polyester fibre and wheelie bins. 

Clear PET (Plastic Grade 1) bottles and containers are processed in Wellington. These are recycled into food grade packaging.

White and coloured HDPE (Plastic Grade 2) like milk, bathroom and laundry bottles go to Auckland for reprocessing. 

Natural HDPE (Opaque milk bottles, Plastic Grade 2) is currently sent overseas for recycling and is reprocessed into plastic pallets which will be used in manufacturing of new products.

Plastic Grade 5 (Polypropylene) goes to Palmerston North where it is granulated and made into new products.

Aluminium is used to make new aerosol and drink cans overseas.

Steel is made into food cans, wire and building materials in Asia. 

So why does New Zealand export some recyclable materials?

Since New Zealand has a relatively small population, we don’t generate a lot of recyclable material, so there’s not as much demand for recycling processing facilities in this country.

Even though exporting our recyclables overseas means that they need to be transported further, it’s often a better environmental option than using raw materials.