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Rubbish & Recycling


Kerbside Recycling

Let’s be the best at this! There is no point in recycling if we do not do it right. It must be clean and not mixed with non-recyclables or rubbish. On this page you can find out how to do it right – important environmentally and financially.

recycling holdCOVID-19 changes to service

We are putting systems in place to ensure our essential services continue during the COVID-19 Level 4 isolation period, and beyond.

Waste management and collection is important for our community, and council is asking for your help to manage this in the weeks ahead.

- Kerbside rubbish collection will continue as normal – please have your orange bags out by 7.30am on your collection day. Orange bags can be purchased from supermarkets but you may need to ask at the checkout for them.
- Kerbside recycling is suspended. Please help us out and store your recycling at home, if it is safe and won’t create a sanitation issue.
- The roll-out of the new recycling crates will also be suspended.
- Recycling stations are closed, this includes the six rural sites.
- The Henderson Road and Black Bridge transfer stations are closed to the public but open to existing account holders from Thursday 26 March.
- You will still be able to drop your orange bags to Henderson Road and Black Bridge transfer stations
- Omarunui Landfill will be fully operational to registered users only.


Please note: This information applies until May 1, 2020. 

What you can (and can’t) put out . . .

Kerbside recycling is the most cost-effective way we have of keeping large amounts of recyclable material out of Omarunui Landfill. Last year we collected almost 4000 tonnes of recyclable material at the kerbside (glass: 1982.08; paper/cardboard: 1282.58; plastic/cans: 625.379) – with much of it recycled here in Hastings.

But, it relies on all of us getting it right. Contamination of recycling with things like food, dirt or non-recyclable items is the biggest reason for recycling being unusable. Companies will not take ‘dirty’ recycling, which means it must be sent to the landfill.

The kerbside recycling service is available in the urban areas of Hastings. Residents choose their own recycling bins.

Recycling needs to be sorted into three bins: Plastic and aluminium/tin cans; paper and cardboard; glass jars and bottles.

To find out what day your recycling is collected, enter your address into the search box on the Collection Days page of this website. Council’s kerbside collection is carried out on the same day every week including on public holidays. Our contractors, Green Sky has provided guidelines to help when choosing and using recycling containers.


The specifics: What can go in the recycling

Plastics and aluminium cans.

Plastic bottles stamped with a 1 or 2 (usually on the bottom) that are washed so that they do not smell and have no food, dirt or non-recyclable items with them, can be put out at the kerbside for recycling in the urban area, or dropped of at recycling centres. They are sent to companies that chip it into flakes and melt it, so it can be made into new products.

Aluminium and tin cans, which can be in the same recycling bin as the plastics, are removed at a Whakatu site and sold to local metal recyclers. Again, rinse the cans before recycling – no-one wants to handle rancid tuna or baked beans as they sort through the recycling.

Do include: Aluminium cans, tin cans, plastic bottles with the numbers 1 or 2 within a triangle on their bottoms (types include milk, soft drink, water, and some laundry, kitchen and bathroom bottles).

Don’t include: Any plastics that are not bottles numbered 1 and 2, soft plastics (bread bags, shopping bags, biscuit packet wrappers), cellophane and foil packets (biscuits, chippies), meat trays, polystyrene, large items such as buckets, plant pots, washing baskets and chairs. These all have to go in with the general rubbish.

Paper and cardboard.

All our paper and cardboard is recycled, with the bulk of it  going to a Hastings company that makes it into fruit trays.

Put all your cardboard and paper together at the kerbside in a bin.

Do include: Paper, cardboard, junk mail, empty pizza boxes (remove all food but grease marks are okay), egg cartons, newspapers, envelopes, magazines, boxes that household products come in (cereal, beauty products, crackers etc).

Don’t include: Items that have food in them; tetra packs; polystyrene

Glass bottles

All our glass is crushed by a company here in Hastings then trucked to Auckland where another New Zealand company recycles it into new glass products.

Put your glass bottles and jars in a bin at the kerbside. Make sure the weight is reasonable – the recycling teams will not empty bins that weigh more than 10kgs.

Do include: Wine, beer and spirit bottles of all colours, all jars and bottles that have had food or drink in them (soft drink, jam, pickles etc), jars that have had things like beauty products in them.

Don’t include: Broken bottles and jars, spectacles, mirror glass, window glass, drinking glasses, glass bowls, light bulbs. Make sure the bottles and jars are empty and clean them before adding them to your recycling.

The big questions

Why can’t we recycle more types of plastics? Soft plastics, takeaway coffee cup lids . . .

The two biggest factors limiting the types of plastics that can be recycled in New Zealand are contamination and cost.

Coffee cups and tetra paks

Products such as coffee cup lids and plastic flower pots are not recyclable due to the high possibility that they will be contaminated. The majority of coffee cup lids are put into recycling bins without being rinsed as they are bought on-the-go and thrown away before being taken near a sink.
The takeaway coffee cup is often a meld of products, card and plastic, making them unrecyclable.
Likewise, tetra pak is a type of plasticised cardboard packaging used to package fluids such as juice, milk and yogurt. It cannot be recycled as the cardboard is lined with plastic.

Plastics 3-7

The number in a triangle on the plastic indicates what type of plastic it is. Each of those plastics have different properties (for example able to stand heat or cold) and have different reactions during the recycling process. While all the numbered plastics are technically recyclable, the markets have become increasingly narrow, with a focus on specific types of plastic - mostly those marked 1 or 2. 

Soft plastics

Nearly every product you buy now comes with some form of soft plastic as packaging. This massive amount of waste makes recycling a struggle as these types of products can only be recycled at a cost to the recycler, due to their low quality. Compounding the problem is that the products that can be made from this type of plastic, such as park benches, fence posts and playground equipment, are in limited demand. These factors make soft plastic an item that it is extremely difficult to recycle.
Some soft plastic collections for recycling have been trialled in parts of New Zealand,  however the sheer amount of the soft plastic waste is proving very difficult to manage. Work continues on possible solutions, however the recommended action is to avoid purchasing products in soft plastic packaging as much as possible. More information on potential solutions is available on the Ministry for the Environment’s soft plastic recycling page.

Meat trays

Black and blue foam meat trays are made of polystyrene which is a plastic that is not bio-degradable and cannot be recycled in Hawke’s Bay. While clear plastic meat trays are stamped with a recycling symbol, they are not included in Hastings recycling collection (which is limited to plastic bottles 1 and 2) at this time.

Large plastics

Items like flower pots are full of soil and, even if they are rinsed before being recycled the, potential that soil remains in grooves is an issue when it comes to bales of plastic recycling being imported into other countries.
Large items such as plastic deck chairs, buckets and laundry baskets are not recyclable either. Even if they are labelled 1-7 these items are too large to be processed through recycling facilities and when broken into pieces it is no longer clear what type of plastic they are.


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