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Glass recycling common questions

Frequently asked questions about your kerbside glass collection recycling service.


A. No. This rates-funded service is additional to your existing private rubbish and recycling collections and does not affect them. Continue with your usual rubbish and mixed recycling collection/disposal arrangements. 


A. It’s the right thing to do. We’re all responsible for reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill. Glass can be infinitely recycled right here in New Zealand so, it makes sense to make new glass products with it instead of wasting it.


A. Yes. There is a maximum of two crates per household. An extra crate costs $37. Only glass from official Tauranga City Council crates will be collected. If you don’t want to pay for an extra crate you can take your excess glass to the transfer station to be recycled for free. Please visit request an additional glass collection crate to order an extra one now.


A. If you are unable to move your crate to the kerbside, please ask a neighbour or caregiver if they can do it for you. If this isn’t an option, and you can provide a medical certificate from your Doctor confirming your inability, we can provide a free Assisted Service for you. Please visit request an assisted service for further information and to apply. Most leading hardware stores sell a range of trolleys that can make moving your crate easier too.


A. Please report a missing or damaged crate and we’ll look into locating or replacing it.


A. Yes, the crate is allocated to the property, not the occupant. All crates have an identification tag on them (like a library book tag) so we know which crate belongs to which property. Leave the crate behind as there will be another crate waiting at your next house. Glass from crates at the wrong property location will not be collected.


A. When a Code of Compliance Certificate for a new residential dwelling has been issued, Council will automatically contact the property owner about providing a glass collection crate to the new property. Owners can choose to pay $37 to receive a crate immediately or wait to receive a crate when the service fee is added to the property’s rates bill (on 1 July each year). Please visit Request a crate for a new property to order a crate now.


A. To protect the crate from damage please use dishwashing liquid or other gentle cleaning solutions, not harsh cleaners or bleach.


A. In response to Tauranga’s private collection companies’ decision to stop collecting glass at the kerbside for recycling, Council proposed to provide a rates-funded service in the 2018-28 Long Term Plan. 

The Tauranga community was asked to give their feedback and vote for their preference in March/April this year, and the response to bringing in the new service was overwhelmingly positive. 

Most respondents were rightly concerned that without a residential kerbside glass collection service more glass would end up in landfill when it should be recycled instead. As most of the community wanted Council to provide a rates-funded glass collection service, it is now being introduced.

Tauranga City Council will introduce a full kerbside waste and recycling collection service to all residents in 2021 but, in the meantime we can divert around 6,000 tonnes of residential glass waste from landfill per year with this interim glass-only service.


A. This is because Council gets charged for every crate that is emptied, regardless of how much glass is in it. So in order to keep the glass collection service fee low for ratepayers, we ask that residents only put their crates out when they are more than half full.

Also with fewer crates out, the collection service will be faster and more efficient – reducing road congestion, fuel consumption and carbon emissions.


A. Not every resident wants to pay for every rates-funded service (for example, some might never use a library, others a skate park or rugby field), but rates ensure that the needs of the city, as a whole, are met. This rates-funded kerbside glass collection service is about what’s right for the environment and the city - as a whole.


A. To be effective this service needs to be delivered city-wide. A mix or partial service would still leave people with the option of putting their glass into landfill.

By providing a glass collection service to everyone we can increase the amount of residential glass we recycle, as has been proved in other cities in NZ (and the world) who provide this service.


A. The glass collection crate size has been selected to maximise the amount of glass that can be collected yet still be easy enough for the average person to lift when it’s full of glass. It is also the most optimum size for the glass collectors to lift and empty (remember they have to do this many times every day!). This size is the New Zealand standard size glass receptacle for residential properties and has worked well for other Councils.


A. Glass bottles and jars are a more environmentally friendly packaging option than plastic. This is because glass bottles and jars can be infinitely recycled into new glass bottles and jars. Plastic, on the other hand, can only be recycled a limited number of times (and every time it is recycled it becomes weaker). Most of the time, plastics are recycled into products that cannot be recycled again. (e.g. like carpet, clothing and toys).

Also, glass bottles and jars are recycled right here in New Zealand, whereas a lot of plastics have to be sent overseas to be recycled because we don’t have the facilities here to recycle them.

When shopping, we encourage you to choose products that are packaged in glass, rather than plastic, whenever possible.


A. This service will help to take pressure off the already busy transfer stations. If you take your other items to be recycled at the transfer station, this glass service will hopefully reduce the need to go as frequently. This will also help to reduce traffic congestion on our roads too.

We are working hard to provide kerbside solutions for your other recyclable items as soon as possible. Please read about our kerbside collections for 2021.


A. The glass collection trucks have been designed to minimise breakages outside the truck, and all are equipped with brooms and shovels so any breakages can be swept up should they occur.

However, the usual cause of broken glass near the kerbside is when crates are over-filled, causing glass bottles and jars to fall out and break. For this health and safety reason, over-filled crates will not be collected.


A. No, this service is just for residential properties in Tauranga. Commercial or industrial businesses do not receive this service.


A. The property managers of multi-unit dwellings (such as apartments and retirement villages) have been contacted by Council to discuss their preferred glass collection arrangements. In many cases property managers have opted for communal wheelie bins, rather than individual crates. If your property manager hasn’t already communicated the arrangements to you, please get in touch with them.


A. Yes, all of the glass we collect from the kerbside is taken to OI NZ in Auckland for recycling. We sort it into separate colours (green, clear and brown glass) at the kerb so that we can achieve an almost 100% recycling rate. Glass is transported from the kerbside to our Te Maunga transfer station where it is put into colour-separated bunkers before being transported to Auckland in bulk. The glass is then melted down in huge furnaces and reformed into new bottles and jars. Glass is infinitely recyclable! Take a look at Tauranga’ kerbside glass collections video to see what happens to your glass.

A. The glass collection frequency is based on average use. A fortnightly glass collection in the size crate provided is the national waste practice for recycling glass and is the size and frequency most other New Zealand councils provide. We appreciate that some households may produce more glass and they are able to purchase an extra crate for $37 which can be used fortnightly. If you don’t want to pay for an extra crate you can take your excess glass to the transfer station to be recycled for free. Please request an additional glass collection crate to order an extra one.

A. Overfilled crates create health and safety risks for residents and our glass recycling service staff. Overfilled crates are too heavy for our collection staff to lift and hold while manually sorting the glass into the different colours. The glass in overfilled crates also often falls out and can break on the kerbside, posing a risk to residents.

Last Reviewed: 31/07/2020


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