Wanting to do more? Check out a range of alternative recycling schemes that the Council is currently aware of.

Soft plastics

Soft Plastic Takeback Scheme 

Christchurch residents can take their soft plastic packaging to any participating store across the city. See a list of bin locations(external link).

(external link)Remember, soft plastics can only go in the red bin or through the Soft Plastic Takeback scheme(external link).

Why soft plastics don't go in the yellow bin

Soft plastic packaging is not collected by the Council for recycling because it contaminates the recycling process.

There is no value in soft plastics – it's not like other recyclables such as glass and aluminium – so we have to pay to have soft plastics recycled. That’s why we need manufacturers and big brands contributing to the costs of recycling this soft plastic.

Disclaimer: To help you find alternatives to recycle items that are not accepted in the wheelie bins collection, Christchurch City Council wishes to inform you of the following schemes. This information is provided on an indicative basis only, and the Council does not warrant the accuracy, correctness or completeness of the information provided.


Fabric can get caught in machinery and cause breakdowns. It would also not be in a condition to be reused after being in a recycling truck.

Clean, intact, genuinely resell-able or reusable items may be suitable for these alternatives:


Most lightbulbs are not supposed to be put into the ordinary household rubbish collection or transfer stations as they are hazardous. 

All Mitre10 stores are now accepting all traditional types of household lightbulbs, including Fluorescent and LED. Please note, this scheme is not deigned for commercial bulbs and volumes. 

Find out more on the Mitre10 website(external link)

Plant pot recycling

Mitre 10 Pot Recycle is closing the loop on plastic garden plants and seedling pots, diverting them from landfill and reducing the amount of new plastic used. 

Mitre 10 stores are accepting clean plant and seedling pots and labels made of plastic ID 5. The pots are shredded and melted into resin, which is then remoulded into new pots. 

You can drop off your clean plant and seedling pots and labels made of Plastic ID 5 at your local Mitre 10.

More information(external link).

Electronic waste (e-waste)

TechCollect NZ

Drop off your e-waste to the TechCollect NZ scheme so e-waste is diverted from landfill and recycled responsibility. 

Find out more on the TechCollect NZ website(external link).


Run by the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum, RE:MOBILE offers an environmentally friendly way to recycle mobile phones. 

There are two ways to make sure your phone gets to RE:MOBILE for safe recycling:

Drop it off

Do not place unwanted phones in kerbside collection bins.

There are a number of locations across the country where you can drop off unwanted mobile phones.

Remove the battery first and take it to RE:MOBILE. Visit remobile.co.nz(external link) to find the one nearest you.

Post it Put your unwanted phone only (without any battery) inside an envelope and send it to this FreePost address:
Private Bag 208004

RE:MOBILE fits with Christchurch City Council's objective of making sure that as much recyclable material as possible is diverted away from the landfill.

The programme also helps to look after our waterways through a partnership with Sustainable Coastlines(external link). The award-winning New Zealand charity has partnered with RE:MOBILE to collect and recycle mobile phones.

The proceeds from this partnership help to plant trees alongside our waterways to restore our native animals, natural habitats, reduce sediment and improve water quality.

Household polystyrene

EXPOL polystyrene recycling club(external link)

The household polystyrene recycling programme is a free service available to the householder at selected hardware stores nationwide.

It was developed with the specific intention to give consumers a place where they could deposit their polystyrene waste. The waste must be clean, have no food residue, dirt, stickers or glue.

Up to two rubbish bags full are accepted at one time. If you have commercial volumes you can contact Expol directly by email at pickup@expol.co.nz or call 0800 86 33 73.

Reusable cup lending system

Why you should use Again Again

It is estimated that in New Zealand, we throw out 295 million single-use cups a year. What doesn't get to the landfill, escapes into the environment where the cup's plastic lining means that it can take forever or never break down. 

Reusable cups are becoming increasingly popular. If you can have your takeaway coffee poured into a reusable cup then the problem disappears.

If an average cafe pours half its takeaway coffees into an Again Again cup instead of a single-use cup, this will divert about 20,000 cups from the landfill each year, just from that one cafe.

How it works

Unlike single-use cups which are not accepted in the recycling or organics bin or personal reusable cups which require forethought, Again Again designs out waste by providing a fleet of reusable steel cups available by deposit and return at any participating cafe.

This enables coffee drinkers anywhere to save the planet with every convenient, guilt-free sip.

For locations and to find out more visit Again Again(external link).

Water refilling

Why you should use Refill NZ

  • RefillNZ offers a free and easy solution for preventing plastic pollution from single-use bottles by making it easy to find free water on tap. 
  • Refilling your reusable bottle is an easy way to save money because bottled water costs between 500 to 1,000 times more than water from the tap.
  • It’s been estimated that plastic production and the incineration of plastic waste will give rise globally to approximately 400 million tonnes of CO2 a year, with bottled water being 900 times more carbon-intensive than drinking tap water.
  • There's a misconception that bottled not only water tastes better, but is better and safer than tap water. In reality, tap water is often more tightly regulated.
  • Reduces the impact of plastic pollution on our wildlife and environment.

How it works

RefillNZ aims to make refilling with tap water the new norm – by making free water more freely available.

Participating businesses have a RefillNZ sticker in their window – to show that they are a Refill station and you’re welcome to come on in and fill up your bottle – for free.

To find your nearest location visit Refill NZ(external link)