Big recycling changes on the way

From Checkpoint, 5:18 pm on 26 January 2024

Rubbish and recycling rules are about to change through much of the motu in a bid for standardisation. 

From next month, a bunch of things that could previously be put in recycling bins will no longer be welcome. 

Which means more of our trash will be headed to landfills, and people will have brush up on sorting their plastic ones twos and fives.

Auckland Council Waste Solutions manager Parul Sood told Checkpoint the items now being refused in household recycling bins had made up about 1 percent of what was being put out on the curb in Auckland. 

"So it's not a massive amount.

"Things change in terms of how recyclables can be sent to market - sometimes the market changes."

So what can and cannot be recycled now?

"It will hopefully not get complicated," Sood said.

No longer accepted in household recycling bins are: "Plastic containers that have other numbers on it - not a one, two or five - those cannot go in your recycling bin.

"Now there are no lids that you can put in to your recycling bin - so do not put your lids back onto your containers.

"Aerosol cans also can no longer go into recycling bins and liquid paperboard cartons like Tetrapaks can no longer go into recycling bins."

Sood said while liquid paperboards were not being accepted in household recycling bins any more, some community recycling centres in Auckland would still take them if they were dropped off.

Auckland Council recycling bin

Photo: Supplied / Auckland Council

Clothing, toys, general food waste, should all not be in the recycling bins, she said.

But many grades of plastics will still be recyclable through the household bins.

"We can put in plastics ones, twos and fives, so look for that number on your plastic container," Sood said. "Your milk bottles, could be your shampoo bottles, could also be yogurt pottles, and other containers that come out of your kitchen, laundry or your bathroom.

"You can continue to put your paper and cardboard in, glass containers are all good to go, aluminium cans are all good to go."

Councils have until 2027 to move to more standardised recycling plans, so householders should check what is in place for the area they live in.

More information can be found here.