From 1 July, as part of the new kerbside service, you can recycle number 5 plastics as well as plastics number 1 and 2! Check the recycling triangle at the bottom of your packaging to find the recycling number.
All of Tauranga’s recycling is taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Te Maunga to be further sorted and baled for transporting to processing facilities in New Zealand and overseas.
Other materials recycled through our transfer stations
Recyclable items collected through Tauranga’s transfer stations such as cars (bodies, batteries and tyres), clothing and textiles, white ware (such as washing machines, fridges, dishwashers, dryers, etc.), computer hard-drives, fire extinguishers, gas bottles, ovens, microwaves, metals, paint, concrete and mobile phones are either sold for reuse and/or repair or dismantled so the parts can be recycled.
Car tyres can be shredded and used in construction, landscaping, synthetics, and as a raw material for adhesives. Concrete can be reused as aggregate.
Why are recyclable materials sent overseas?
Processing in New Zealand would be the preferred choice, but as we have a relatively small population there generally aren’t the very large volumes of materials required to make it economical to process all materials here.
Highly populated countries usually have big processing facilities to manage their recycling and they buy many of New Zealand’s recyclable materials. Although the recyclables need to be transported further when sending them overseas, it is still a better environmental option than landfilling them or using new raw materials.
Until New Zealand is able to reprocess recycled material onshore, recycling companies remain vulnerable to global market demand for raw materials.
The MRF at Te Maunga is privately managed by Waste Management Ltd who determines which facilities the recyclable materials are sent to for processing and/or exporting.
Last Reviewed: 04/08/2021