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Rubbish & Recycling


Rubbish and Recycling FAQs

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

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Council does not currently supply recycling bins (A roll-out of Council provided recycling bins is planned for 2020). You are able to use a bin or box of your own choice provided it is not too large (wheelie bins of recycling will not be collected). For more information check out the Recycling Information brochure.

A large number of outlets sell these, or you can buy them from the Council offices in Lyndon Rd East, Hastings.

Contact the appropriate contractor.

General rubbish - Waste Management:
0800 101010

Recycling - Green Sky:
0800 229732

Environment Centre Hawke’s Bay Karamu Rd, Hastings, takes e-waste, household appliances (with some exceptions), batteries and coffee pods for recycling. More information is available on the E-Waste page.

Council’s contractors pick up the rubbish and recycling on the same day, as normal, including on public holidays. The only change may be over Christmas when the amount of recycling can put the teams behind; or when weather conditions slow them down. Always put your recycling out on the usual day.

 If you have a private wheelie bin contract you will need to check pickup with that company.

All the information on the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan is available on the WMMP page

Council has a full education and communication plan in place to explain what we need to do and why we need to do it. For some of the information included in the education plan see:

For more information see the related pages section at the top of this page.

Council plans to provide recycling receptacles and a wheelie bin for general rubbish to each home in mid-2020. The roll-out cannot happen before then as that is when current waste collection contracts expire. The new contracts will determine the type and number per house of recycling receptacles, and how both those and the wheelie bins for rubbish will be collected. The best estimate for wheelie bins is early May 2020; while the recycling crates/bins are likely to be delivered to homes mid-year. Council will provide residents with more information as it becomes available.


Recycling changes FAQs


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Plastic bottles with the numbers 1 or 2 on them (examples: milk, soft drink and water bottles, and some bathroom and laundry bottles – but check for the number). They look like this:

1 2

Anything that is plastic that is not a bottle marked 1 or 2 must go in with your general rubbish.

So all plastics stamped with the numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7, and plastics marked 1 or 2 that are not bottles (including things like meat, fruit and vegetable trays and punnets) and soft plastics, go in with your general rubbish. These plastics will go to the landfill.

Most bottles have the number inside a triangle stamped on the bottom, however occasionally they will be on the neck (up-side down sauce and dressing bottles) or on the side. If there is no number on it then put it with your general rubbish.

We have moved to lids off – preferred by buyers of plastic for recycling – so with plastics the process is ‘lids off, wash, squash’ and put the plastics in a bin with your aluminium/tin cans. The lids go in your general rubbish.

While technically plastics numbered 3 to 7 can be recycled, there are very few organisations or businesses in New Zealand or overseas that will recycle them. All of the markets at the moment want plastics marked 1 and 2, preferably clear or opaque non-coloured bottles.

Council’s decision to collect only plastic bottles grades 1 and 2 is based on investigations into the markets that will take used plastics for recycling.

Those markets have reduced to the point that Council and contractors can only find recyclers for plastics that are guaranteed to be grade 1 and 2 (on the bottom in a triangle). There is very low tolerance in those markets for contamination – be that plastics that are not 1 or 2, or unclean plastic.

While some trays and punnets (a small percentage of recycling) are marked 1 and 2, there are also large numbers of trays and punnets made of different grades of plastic – considered to be contamination if mixed with 1s and 2s.

The manual conveyer belt recycling sorting infrastructure in Hawke’s Bay does not allow for a higher level of differentiation between plastics on the sort line. With thousands of items passing before them, bottles are easy for the staff to identify at speed and therefore ensure that what we are sending for recycling is 100 per cent recyclable. 

End users of the plastics (and all other materials) will reject materials if they contain products outside of those they can use (or are unclean or mixed with general rubbish) and Council will not risk whole bales of recycling going to landfill because of this.

Soft plastics (bread bags; plastic wrap, biscuit packet wrappers etc) cannot be put out with recycling in Hawke’s Bay. A national trial collecting soft plastics from some New Zealand cities for recycling was halted last year, as the Australian company taking the plastic was inundated and could not process it all. It is expected to resume shortly, however there is no time-line on when it might be introduced in Hawke’s Bay.

No; the collection of all other recycling products remains the same.

In March, the contractor picking up the recycling made the decision to no longer pick up recycling in plastic bags for contamination detection and health and safety reasons. The phasing out of opaque supermarket bags has resulted in people using thicker bags and the collectors could not see through them to check for non-recycling and rubbish. They also could not see if there were things like broken glass or medical sharps, which can pose a danger to collectors, in the bags. A four-week phase-in was agreed to by the contractors, with no bags of recycling being collected after April 5. Please use a bin or bins of your choice, provided they are not too large to easily pick up, or too heavy (under 10kg).

Yes, Council plans to provide bins for recycling to every home on the urban recycling routes mid-next year. The date has been set because the new waste and recycling collection contracts are due to start in 2020 and the outcome of those negotiations will dictate the type and size of bin required.

Non-recyclables can contaminate a whole load or bale of recycling, making it unsaleable. Recyclers will only take clean recycling – one dirty nappy or part full bottle of jam risks a whole load going to landfill.

This is a world-wide issue. Markets for used plastic internationally and in New Zealand have changed markedly. Internationally, almost all countries that previously took used plastics have closed their borders to further imports. Internationally and in New Zealand the only reliable markets now are for bottles numbered 1 or 2. The preference is for clear and opaque bottles, however Council is collecting all colours.

Council is committed to supporting national level initiatives (by bodies such as LGNZ, Ministry for the Environment and WasteMinz) alongside other councils and organisations, believing that the combined weight is more likely to make a difference, rather than small councils such as ourselves working individually.

There is much more information on the Recycling page


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