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Stricter quality control leads to recycling changes

Due to stricter controls being put in place by processors who receive recycling from Waikato District Council waste contractors, lids from plastic and glass containers need to be taken off and put in the rubbish.

The lids are typically a different material, will contaminate glass and plastic recycling and can get stuck in moving machinery used to process recycled product.

Lids ending up in landfill is the lesser evil, rather than undermining the quality of a glass shipment.

Quality control measures at recycling process also mean the following needs to be adhered to:


Glass recycling must be separated from plastic and cans. This change was started during the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year.

The reasons for the separation are two-fold: to improve health and safety for waste collectors and to improve the quality of recycling going to the processors.

So, it’s glass in one crate, plastic and tins/cans in the other.

Please note, if you don’t have two crates at your property you can do one of two things:

  • Alternate your recycling. Put out plastics/tin one week and glass the next.
  • You can buy a crate from the Council for $18.50. All properties eligible for a kerbside collection service were issued two crates back in 2016. While we acknowledge crates may have gone missing since then, we cannot let the general ratepayer subsidise the cost of buying in more crates, so they need to be paid for by the user.


Another reminder that all recycling needs to be rinsed clean before being put into crates. Again, this is due to processors needing clean product so that the recycled material can be used again.

PLASTICS 1,2 and 5

Only plastics with recycling numbers 1,2 or 5 can be put in a recycling crate – if it has a 3,4,6 or 7 number it needs to go in the rubbish bag.

Up to now Xtreme Zero Waste has been accepting plastics with numbers 1 through to 7 on them but they will be changing to only 1,2 and 5 from December 14 this year.


This should be put next to the crates either in cardboard box or paper bag. Max size is 50cm x 50cm x 50cm.

The Government is looking at standardising recycling collection across New Zealand which would require higher quality of recycling collected from kerbside. To find out more,  WasteMINZ’s recommendation report for the Ministry for the Environment is available here.