Kerbside changes

From 1 February 2024, new national standards to kerbside bin collections are in place, which means most Kiwis can sort their recycling, organics and rubbish in the same way.

www/ccc.govt.nz/kerbside-changes

Christchurch – you’ve bin good with recycling, so let’s keep up the good work and continue to put the right items in the right bins.

The new national standards mean some important changes to how kerbside collection is run throughout New Zealand.

For Christchurch, there will be a few changes:

Item Now goes in
  • Empty pizza boxes, without food scraps
  • Clean plastic containers and bottles up to 4 litres, but no smaller than a yoghurt pottle
Yellow recycling bin
  • Aerosol cans
  • Tea bags
  • Cardboard and paper with food on it including newspaper, paper towels, shredded paper, tissues and fish and chip wrappers
Red rubbish bin

 

Frequently asked questions

What is changing?

From 1 February, materials collected from households for recycling will be standardised across New Zealand. 

Only these things can be recycled from home: 

  • plastic bottles, clear plastic trays and plastic containers numbered 1, 2 and 5 only

  • food and drink tins and cans

  • paper and cardboard

  • glass bottles and jars

For Christchurch, this means the following changes

Item

Now goes into

Clean pizza boxes, without food scraps

Yellow recycling bin

Shredded paper, serviettes, and paper towels

Red rubbish bin

Tea bags

Red rubbish bin

Aerosol cans

Red rubbish bin

Plastic containers and bottles up to four litres, but no smaller than a yoghurt pottle

Yellow recycling bin

Why are these changes happening?

From 1 February 2024, the government, led by Ministry for the Environment, are introducing new national standards to kerbside bin collections, so now most Kiwis can sort their recycling, organics and rubbish in the same way.

Collecting the same materials in kerbside recycling services will make it easier for everyone to put items in the right bin no matter where they are in New Zealand. 

It will also help businesses to design and manufacture packaging they know can be recycled from anywhere in the country. 

The changes will also help recycling facilities by improving the quality of the materials they receive, so they can recycle more. 

For more information on the changes to standardise household recycling, visit Ministry for the Environment(external link).

What items can go into my recycling bin?

Only these things can be recycled from home

  •  Plastic bottles, clear plastic trays and containers numbered 1, 2 and 5 only (larger than a yoghurt pottle and smaller than 4 litres)
  • Food and drink tins and cans
  • Paper and cardboard (including pizza boxes)
  • Glass bottles and jars

Remember to give your bottle, tins, cans and containers a rinse, make sure they're not bagged or squashed, and put all lids in the red bin. 

What items can go into my organics bin?

We accept all food waste and most garden waste in our green organics bins.

All food waste

  • fruit and vegetables
  • meat, bones and fish
  • bread and pastries
  • dairy products
  • coffee grounds and loose tea leaves
  • 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. 

Why can I no longer recycle aerosol cans?

When not completely empty, aerosols can explode under pressure and cause fires at recycling facilities.

Some aerosols contain poisonous contents such as insecticides and automotive sprays.

Staff at recycling facilities may be exposed to these contents when aerosols are damaged or crushed for baling.  

Why can't pizza boxes go into the green bin?

Clean pizza boxes with food scraps removed can be placed in recycling.

Ministry for the Environment has provided advice that paper and cardboard items can introduce pollutants into soil such as inks that include heavy metals and/or microplastics. 

Why can't shredded paper/paper towels go in the green bin?

These items should now go in the red bin. 

The new national standards have brought in this change because paper and cardboard would introduce PFAs (polyfluoroalkyl substances) into the compost product our plant produces.

PFAS can accumulate in soil, plants and eventually the food chain. Removing it from the green bin removes this health risk.

Can I still line my green bin with newspaper?

No, you cannot line your green bin with paper, or wrap food scraps in paper before putting them in the green bin.

The new national standards have brought in this change because paper and cardboard would introduce polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) into the compost product our plant produces.

PFAS can accumulate in soil, plants and eventually the food chain. Removing it from the green bin removes this health risk.

To reduce issues around smell or food waste getting stuck at the bottom of the bin, we suggest lining the bottom of your green bin with weeds or leaves before emptying in food waste.

Emptying your food caddy into the green bin the evening before collection can also help. 

How should I prepare my items for recycling?

Take off the lids, rinse out any dirty items, and put your containers out for recycling. 

What should I do with my lids?

Please keep them out of your household recycling and put them in the red bin. Lids are too small to be separated by machinery at our recycling plant. Sorting machinery can also mistake flat lids for paper, so they contaminate paper recycling. 

Where can I find more information?