Public Place Recycling project

In 2018, we launched a trial of Public Place Recycling (PPR) stations at eight locations around Wellington CBD and one location at Evans Bay. The trial will finish in mid-July 2021 and the bins will be removed.

Media release 29 June 2021

To read the full media release go to Our Wellington:

Public Place Recycling trial ends, stations to be removed 


Image of Public Place Recycling bins

The trial aimed to reduce to amount of recyclable materials going to landfill, and to help us understand people’s attitudes towards PPR. It was funded with $465k of waste levy money, and was a joint initiative with the Love NZ/Be a Tidy Kiwi campaign delivered by the Packaging Forum.

Why the stations are being removed

We originally expected that the PPR stations would become permanent, but during the trial it became clear that they aren’t the best solution for managing the city’s waste.

Other reasons behind the decision to remove the stations were:

  • the small volumes of recycling diverted from the landfill
  • the cost of servicing the recycling stations.

The stations kept around 36 tonnes of recycling out of the landfill each year, compared to kerbside collections that divert around 11,200 tonnes per year.

PPR recycling costs over $6,500 per tonne to process, which is around ten times the cost per tonne for kerbside recycling. We think future funding is better focussed on waste reduction initiatives, including those that introduce more reusable options and reduce single use packaging.

Frequently asked questions – PPR station removal

Recycling and waste minimisation

It may seem like we’ve changed our stance on recycling – we haven’t. Recycling still has an important role, but we now understand that doing it in isolation isn’t going to save the planet. We need to realistic about the impact of single-use. If Wellington wants to achieve its goal of becoming a Zero Carbon Capital, we need to change our behaviour and consume less.

Central government is expected to make some announcements around a New Zealand container return scheme in the near future. We believe that this is likely to significantly reduce the need for public recycling of beverage containers, as bottles will hold a value which consumers are likely to want to redeem for themselves

Diagram showing a list of recycling options from most preferred to least preferred: reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, dispose.
The Waste Hierarchy (source: Zero Waste Network)

The Waste Hierarchy

The Waste Hierarchy promotes sustainable use of resources, and sets out options for waste management – with dispose being the least preferred option, and reduce the preferred option. Reducing the amount of waste we create can help prevent greenhouse gas emissions, reduce pollution, save energy, and conserve resources. It can also help to stimulate the development of green technologies and jobs.

Reusable options for reducing single-use packaging waste

Reusable options are becoming increasingly popular and there are lots of great affordable (and free) options:

  • RefillNZ – Free water stations around Wellington (just bring your refillable bottle).
  • Again Again – Cup lending scheme.
  • Reusabowl – Borrow a plastic-free takeaway bowl.
  • The Rubbish Trip – Lots of advice on going zero waste in Wellington City including reusable food and drink options on the go.

Recycling while in town

If you really can’t avoid single-use packaging when you’re out on the go, please take it home with you and put it in your kerbside recycling. If you work in the CBD you could also use your office recycling facilities. 

See more ways to reduce your waste everyday

Contact us

If you want to report a litter incident, or make any comments on how we can improve our services please contact our Waste Operations Team on 383 7460 (Monday to Friday) or by email