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Recycling works

Recycling works

Updated 14 April 2014 11:05am


This page provides some general information about kerbside recycling in the Wellington region. Kerbside rubbish collection and recycling is the responsibility of city and district councils.

What you can recycle

  • Glass bottles and jars
  • All metal food and drink cans
  • Most paper and cardboard, including glossy pamphlets, paper packaging, magazines and envelopes
  • Plastics numbered 1 to 7, excluding polystyrene - check the Plastic Identification Number, usually on the base of the container. Note that some local councils in the region collect clean plastic bags, including shopping bags and bread bags, but some do not.


  • Clean out bottles, jars and cans first. Food and drink scraps left behind are smelly and attract rats and mice at recycling plants.
  • Take lids off.
  • Flatten cardboard boxes.

What you can't recycle

  • Broken glass, mirrors, light bulbs, oven dishes, pyrex, crystal or ornamental glass
  • Milk cartons and other wax-coated paper
  • Foil-lined paper
  • Anything contaminated with food scraps such as used pizza boxes
  • Silver foil including food trays, chippie and ice cream packets
  • Bottle tops.
  • Polystyrene cannot be put out for kerbside recycling. Polystyrene can be recycled at Poly Palace on Broken Hill Road, Porirua (opposite Trash Palace).

 The things you recycle definitely get used

  • Bottles and jars get made into new bottles and jars at a plant in Auckland. They are also sometimes made into aggregate for asphalt, swimming pool filters or even an abrasive cleaner that jewellers use
  • Soft drink bottles and other Number 1 plastics are often reused as the synthetic component (like polyester) of clothing. For example, 25 bottles can be recycled into a polar fleece
  • Milk and detergent bottles (Number 2 plastics) are reprocessed into a range of products including drainage pipes, plant pots and bread crates. An Otaki firm, Pacific Plastic Recyclers, makes these products and more using hundreds of tonnes of Number 2 plastics each year
  • Steel cans are sent to Auckland, re-smelted, and used in new products including cars and bridges. Aluminium cans are sorted, crushed and baled into 'bricks' for transporting overseas is used to make new cans. They can be recycled again and again
  • Cardboard is reused and made into new paperboard and corrugated boxes. Newspapers are made into new newsprint, insulation and animal bedding. Office paper is recycled into writing paper, tissue and towel products. Telephone books are recycled into egg cartons and wine boxes. One company alone, Carter Holt Harvey's 'FullCircle', last year recycled nearly 200,000 tonnes of waste paper and cardboard from across New Zealand, including the Wellington region.