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Rubbish & Recycling Rubbish & Recycling

Kerbside Recycling Collection

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 get it right.

Do you have ‘Great crates, mate’?

Check out this video we’ve created to bust some of the recycling myths in Heretaunga. And if you haven’t got great crates – it’ll give you a few tips.

Why recycle?

The things we buy and use take a lot of energy and resources to create. When we throw away these things in the landfill, we waste the energy and resources that went into them. By recycling, we can give these materials another life. 

Using your crates

1. Can you recycle it?

Check below or download our recycling and rubbish guide here

2. Wash, remove lids and flatten cardboard

Wash out jars, bottles and cans; remember no food or liquids.

Wash remove flatten

3. Sort your recycling into your three crates

Each household within the Hastings kerbside recycling zone has three crates for recycling. Recycling will only be collected in Council-issued crates. You can put out multiple crates with the same items (for example two crates of paper), but don’t mix the different categories in the same crate.

Separate items into the following categories:

Three crates

4. Stop before the top

Don’t overfill your recycling crates.

Recycling outside of the crates will not be collected, for example large cardboard boxes.

If you have excess recycling, you can save it and put it out another week or take it to one of our free recycling drop off centres

Overfill crates

If it’s windy, pop your glass crate on top of your plastics and cans crate, so items don't blow onto the street. For your paper crate, put a brick on top.

7am clock

5. Kerbside by 7am

Place your recycling out at the kerbside by 7AM ON YOUR COLLECTION DAY. Place crates as close to the kerb edge as possible; not in the middle of the footpath.

What you can (and can’t!) put in your crates

Paper and cardboard

Reycling 2

Clean and flattened paper and cardboard. Large cardboard boxes can be dropped for free at our recycling depots or cut them down to fit in your crate.

Yes please No thank you
Junk mail
Egg cartons
Empty pizza boxes (remove all food)
Household packaging
Milk and juice cartons
Takeaway coffee cups
Packaging with food waste
Paper with glitter
Pet food and potato sacks

Plastic and cans

Number 1, 2 & 5 household plastics, food and drink cans.

Wash, squash, lids off.

Plastics5 YesNo

Yes please No thank you
Kitchen, bathroom and laundry plastics
Tin cans
Aluminium cans

Plastics number 3, 4, 6 & 7
Hard plastic
Soft plastic (e.g. bags)
Paint tubs
Buckets and plant pots
Chip packets and lolly wrappers
Aerosol cans

TOP TIP: Sustainable HB can also take metal jar lids, aluminium screw caps, metal bottle tops, coffee capsules, Colgate oral care products, aluminium foil and trays, batteries and Glad brand food wrap, ziplock bags and food storage containers.


Empty, clean glass bottles and jars.

GlassThe recycling teams will not empty bins that weigh more than 10kgs.

Yes please No thank you
Glass soft drink bottles
Wine, beer and spirit bottles
Broken glass
Window and mirror glass
Drinking glasses
Glass cookware
China and crockery
Light bulbs
Perfume bottles

Why crates?

Recycling returnUsing crates to separate items ensures we have the cleanest recycling possible and the high quality of the material collected will guarantee it will be recycled.
Separating recycling also allows paper and cardboard to be collected separately and dropped directly where it needs to go, saving double handling and transport emissions.

Why not wheelie bins?

While wheelie bins are very simple to use, the quality of recycling that comes out of the mixed recycling wheelie bins is much lower. It’s also a lot more difficult to separate items and therefore costs more to process. In Hastings, it is especially important to keep our glass separate from paper and cardboard which is sent locally to Hawk Packaging and made into fruit trays. For health and safety reasons, there can’t be any fragments of glass in it.

Why having the wrong thing in your crate is a problem

Sometimes eager recyclers may want to recycle things we don’t collect through our kerbside collection. But there are really good reasons not to do that.
Your recycling may get left behind if the wrong things are in your crate. We know this is frustrating when you were trying to do the right thing. The ultimate aim is to be able to make new products – and mixing them or including the wrong items means this does not happen.

The average recycling service crew member will collect 500 to 750 crates each day, taking an average 12 seconds to collect and empty each crate. Having to stop and sticker incorrect crates doubles this time and creates additional operating costs – paid for out of rates.

If it’s not spotted by our crew in the short time they have to look at each crate, mixed or dirty recycling becomes a problem at the sorting facility. All recycling is sorted by hand to remove items that shouldn’t be there (such as the wrong types of plastic or items with food on them) but with hundreds of items passing sorters each minute they may miss some items.

The sorted products are bailed for transport to re-processors to be turned into something new. If the levels of wrong or dirty items are too high the entire bale may be rejected and sent to landfill instead, meaning everybody’s good efforts have gone to waste.

Having the wrong items in a sorting line can also cause issues if it’s going through a system not designed to process it. It may jam or damage the machinery and create a hazard for workers.

The facilities that take our recycling only have the ability to recycle the items we accept at the kerbside – that’s why they have been selected for recycling. Rejected items from the sorting line will go to landfill.

Where Hastings' recycling goes

Plastic and cans

Plastics (numbered 1, 2 and 5) and cans are transported to Masterton for sorting in a materials recovery facility. These materials are sold locally and internationally. For example, clear PET plastics (#1) generally go to a number of plastic manufacturers in NZ like Flight Plastics in Wellington and are made into fruit punnets or meat trays. Cans are generally sold to other countries where there is more demand for these metals.


Glass goes to the Visy recycling company in Auckland. Visy processes the glass into new bottles and jars. Within about four weeks, the glass can be back in a retail store as a new bottle or jar.

Paper and cardboard

Paper and cardboard goes to Hawk Packaging in Whakatū where it is made into fruit trays. It gets processed straight away on the same day it is collected from your crate

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