Our goal - working towards zero waste for the Waikato district

You can place your weekly recycling into a teal blue Waikato District Council recycling bin. Each household receives two bins free, and replacement bins can be purchased for $18.50 from our Ngaruawahia, Raglan, Huntly and Tuakau offices.

Each week you can put out up to two bins plus a bundle of newspapers/magazines/paper (up to 50cm x 50cm x 50cm) for collection.

Questions?

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about recycling.

What can I put in my recycle bin?

  • Glass bottles, jars 
  • Plastic, household containers, types 1, 2, and 5 only, in all areas except Raglan where plastics 1-7 are collected. Please rinse and squash containers
  • Aluminium and steel cans, empty aerosol cans.

What can I not put in my recycle bin?

  • No loose paper or cardboard
  • No supermarket bags, other plastic bags, polystyrene food trays, juice or milk cartons
  • No window glass, lightbulbs, broken glass, drinking glasses or ceramic dishes
  • No fuel, oil or chemical containers
  • No plastic containers larger than 4L.

Can I recycle cardboard?

Yes. Small cardboard or loose paper can be put into a paper or plastic bag or small cardboard box and placed beside your recycle bin for collection. Larger cardboard needs to be flattened, bound and placed next to your recycle bin. Cardboard can be no larger than 50cm x 50cm x 50cm.

Why do I need to rinse containers?

Rinsing helps recycling by reducing contamination. Food leftovers can attract flies or animals and spread disease. A cold water rinse is usually enough.

Should I squash containers?

Yes please. Flattened cans and plastic bottles are less likely to blow around in the wind and cause litter. Unsquashed items also take up a lot of space in both your bin and the collection truck.

What if my recycling does not get collected? 

Non-complying materials will be left in the container with a sticker explaining the reason for non-collection. If you believe that the collection has missed your property please call council on 0800 492 452.

Where else can I take my recycling?

We're helping create places within the community where you can drop off your unwanted items for recycling or reuse.

These centres will be run by local businesses and community enterprises, helping to increase local employment and economic opportunities.

We will update this page as more centres become available. In the meantime, you can drop your recycling off at the following locations:

  • Huntly Recycle/Refuse 
    Station McVie Road 
    Ph: 07 828 9719
  • Te Kauwhata Recycle/Refuse Station 
    Rata Street 
    Ph: 07 826 345
  • Raglan Xtreme Waste 
    Te Hutewai Road 
    Ph: 07 825 6509 
    www.xtremewaste.org.nz 

What happens to my recycling?

Here’s a summary of where it goes, and what it’s used for:

  • Your recycling is picked up by Waikato District Council and is sorted on the kerbside
  • At the Transfer Station the recycling is checked, sorted and bundled ready for shipping
  • Glass is recycled here in New Zealand. It’s mainly turned into bottles and jars but can also be made into what’s known as ‘glasscrete’ and ‘glassphalt’, which is a material used in road building.
  • Paper and cardboard can be made into newsprint, writing paper, tissue, corrugated cardboard, egg cartons and fruit trays. This is also done in New Zealand as well as Asia.
  • Our plastic is sent to Australia, China and Southeast Asia to be made into just about anything plastic can be made in to, which is a lot! Buckets, polyester fibre and wheelie bins are just some of the new forms our plastic takes.
  • Aluminium is used to make new aerosol and drink cans, while steel is made into food cans, wire and building materials in both New Zealand and Asia.
  • 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. Countries such as China, however, have big industries and small amounts of readily available raw materials, creating a high demand for recyclables. Even though exporting our recyclables overseas means they need to be transported further, it’s often a better environmental option than using raw materials.