Your guide to items that can’t be recycled through council’s kerbside service
Over 50% of what Tauranga City Council is collecting as part of the kerbside service is being recycled or composted.
Although most residents are using the service correctly, some our city’s recycling bins are still contaminated. Contamination is when incorrect or unwashed items are placed in the recycling bin. A few contaminated recycling bins can lead to an entire suburb’s recycling collection being sent to landfill.
Below are items that we often see contaminating bins, why not use a special recycling service instead? Please note this is a guide for household items only.
These are things like chip packets, bubble wrap, bread bags, toilet paper packaging – anything that you can scrunch up in your hand. These plastics are sometimes labelled with a number two, but they can’t be recycled through the council’s kerbside service as they require special processing. Soft plastic recycling in New Zealand is run by the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme and once items are collected they are sent to Future Post where it is made into items such as fence posts and garden frames.
You can take clean soft plastics to 16 selected stores throughout Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and Papamoa. To find the location closest to you View the 'Soft plastic recycling website' for recycling locations
Polystyrene is bulky – we see a lot of bins overflowing because of this pesky plastic. Polystyrene can’t be recycled in the council’s kerbside recycling service, but it can be recycled as part of Mitre 10 and EXPOL’s recycling scheme.
Residents can take up to two bags of clean expanded polystyrene (the stuff that’s usually used for protective packaging) to Mitre 10 in Tauranga (call ahead to make sure they have capacity) or to EXPOL Tauranga during the hours of 7am to 2pm Monday to Friday, so it can be recycled by EXPOL and turned into new home insultation and drainage products.
Mobile phones and electronics
Mobile phones have large amounts of precious metals and up to 95% of these can be reused. These shouldn’t be placed in any of your kerbside bins, as they have batteries that cause fires in our trucks or sorting facilities. Collection bins are provided at the Te Maunga Transfer Station.
You can also take electronic items such as computers, laptops, printers and cameras to Noel Leeming stores to be recycled, through the TechCollect programme. Remember to wipe any data from your device before dropping it off.
Household batteries can be disposed of at the Te Maunga Transfer Station, batteries release harmful toxins if disposed of incorrectly so it’s important to keep these aside for recycling when possible. Accepted batteries are AA, AAA, D-Cell, C-Cell, 9-volt and button cells.
Mitre 10 sells over 11 million pots in plants every year, unfortunately these aren’t accepted in our kerbside recycling service as they’re often too dirty to recycle.
Those who are committed to cleaning their plastic number 5 plant/seedling pots can drop them off at Mitre 10 Tauranga to be recycled into new pots.
Find out more about Mitre 10 Pot Recycle
Precious Plastics is a global movement that turns plastics into exciting new products. The Tauranga branch, which is run by EnviroHub and is a Resource Wise Fund recipient, turns clean plastic lids into pens, clocks and earrings, with more products to come.
Drop your clean plastic lids (no silicon or metal) to 31B Glasgow Street, Tauranga 3110.
Unfortunately, this one can’t be recycled, these need to be placed in your rubbish bin.
You can help the environment and your bank account by switching to reusable nappies. Tauranga City Council and Waste Free with Kate & Co. run waste-free parenting workshops throughout the year. Sign up and receive a gift pack!
Not sure what should go in your recycling bin? Residents can refer to Tauranga City Council’s comprehensive bin guide if they need help with what goes in each bin.