Food and garden waste is collected weekly and is processed into certified 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.

What can go in the green organics bin

We accept all food waste, most garden waste and cardboard/paper with food on it.

All food waste

  • fruit and vegetables
  • meat, bones and fish
  • bread and pastries
  • dairy products
  • coffee grinds and tea bags
  • shells and shellfish

Liquids can't go in any bin. Cooking oil can be dropped off at one of our EcoDrop Recycling Centres free of charge. 

Most garden waste

  • cut flowers, pruned branches and leaves
  • grass clippings (unless sprayed with a herbicide containing Clopyralid)

We can't accept cuttings from flax, cabbage trees or soil. Put these in the red bin or dispose of them at an EcoDrop for a fee. 

Cardboard and paper with food on it

  • newspaper
  • pizza boxes
  • fish 'n' chip wrappers
  • kitchen paper towels (unless sprayed with cleaning chemicals)
  • Paper or cardboard smaller than an envelope i.e. shredded paper, tissue

Ensure cardboard is not glossy and all tape is removed

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.

  • plastic bottles and containers number 1, 2 and 5 go in the yellow bin
  • all other plastics go in the red bin
  • biodegradable or compostable bags, liners and packaging – put them in the red bin
  • ash, timber and sawdust (let ash cool for at least five days before disposing of it in the red bin)
  • coffee/takeaway cups or lids – put these in the red bin
  • small dead animals such as rats and mice can be double-bagged and placed in the red bin.
  • larger dead animals such as cats and dogs should not be disposed of in any of the kerbside bins. If you are unsure of appropriate disposal options, please seek advice from your local veterinary clinic.
  • human or animal waste – put animal waste in the red bin
  • rocks, stones, gravel or soil – put them in the red bin
  • nappies – put them in the red bin
  • insulation (including wool-based products) – put them in the red bin

All the material collected in the green bin goes to the Council-owned Organics Processing Plant in Bromley. 

It is the biggest composting facility of its kind in New Zealand. It processes around 50,000 tonnes of material from our green bins every year, diverting it from landfill.

All the material gets turned into certified organic compost and is used around the South Island, mostly in agriculture.

Read more waste stats and facts. 


There are a lot of products out there labelled as biodegradable and/or compostable. These labels can be super-confusing as they all mean different things. We currently have no national standards for either biodegradability or composability in New Zealand. Without any clear standards, we are not able to accept any of these products in the kerbside green bin.

Organic certification 

We produce organic certified compost from the contents of your green bin. This is then used by organic farms to produce food, helping to create a more circular economy. A lot of products that are currently labelled as biodegradable or compostable are not approved as organic so can’t go through our composting plant.

Tips and tricks

Instead of compostable plastic bags, why not wrap food scraps in old newspaper or use an unlined paper bag? For other products (like coffee cups) it is best to invest in a reusable alternative.