Food and garden waste is collected weekly and is recycled into organic compost. By putting the right stuff in the green bin, you’re making it possible for us to produce locally-made compost and reduce how much is sent to landfill.

Green bin

What can go in the green organics bin

  • fruit and vegetables including pips and stones
  • meat, bones and fish
  • bread, pastries and flours
  • cut flowers, prunings, branches and leaves
  • coffee grindings and tea bags
  • dairy products
  • human and animal hair
  • food-soiled cardboard containers (including pizza boxes), paper towels and serviettes
  • shells - including eggshells

Download the Wheelie Bins App

It has a handy lookup tool so you can find out what goes in each bin as well as reminders to take the bins out each week.

What can't go in your green organics bin

  • flax or cabbage trees
  • plastics of any sort (e.g. plant pots, bio-plastic bags, cling film)
  • biodegradable or compostable bags or packaging
  • coffee/takeaway cups or lids
  • grass clippings sprayed with a herbicide containing Clopyralid
  • large prunings, cuttings or branches longer than 70cm in length and 7.5cm in diameter
  • dead animals or pets
  • liquids
  • human or animal waste
  • nappies
  • stones, gravel, bricks or dirt

How it’s turned into locally-made compost

Each year, the organics processing plant processes approximately 45,000 tonnes of organic material from green bins.

Find out how your organic waste is processed(external link), from when it’s arrived at the plant until it’s used as organic compost by farmers to grow crops and the food we eat. 

Learn more about the compost food loop(external link).

Our processing plant has a very low contamination rate compared to other plants in Australasia. This is all thanks to you putting only the right things into your green bin.

The contamination rate is currently around 2.5% but the Council aims for less than 1%.  Contamination comes from items like plastic bags containing food waste, ash and sawdust. 

Food scraps can be wrapped in newspaper before putting them in your green bin and ash and sawdust must be put into your red bin.

Biodegradable and compostable products

Biodegradable and compostable items can’t be put in the green bin

Although some compostable bags are able to be home composted, they are not compostable at the Council’s processing plant. This is because they do not break down within the twelve-week processing time frame

Takeaway cups

We can’t accept, takeaway cups or lids in the green bins in Christchurch. They must be put in the red bin. 
Some companies, both locally and nationally, have branded their cups as either biodegradable or compostable but unfortunately, they can’t be processed at our organic processing plant.

Why it matters

We aim to reduce as much contamination as possible. The contents of the green bin go to the Council’s organics processing plant, where it is turned into compost. If a truckload is considered too contaminated by non-compostable items such as take-away cups and plastic bags, then the whole load may have to go to the landfill.