Public Place Recycling project

We're running a trial of recycling stations around the city. These Public Place Recycling stations have a bin you can use for recycling glass, plastic, tins, cans and paper/cardboard items - and a bin for rubbish.

Changes to plastic recycling collections

As of Monday 20 July 2020, we will no longer accept plastics numbered 3, 4, 6 and 7 in the kerbside recycling collections – these need to go in your general rubbish. For more information, please see the following.

News – Recycling Collection Changes
Recycling plastic changes FAQ (140KB PDF)

Image of Public Place Recycling bins

This on-going trial is designed to test both the form and function of our new stations – as well as people’s attitudes towards Public Place Recycling (PPR) in Wellington.

Each recycling station houses separate bins for co-mingled recycling, glass, and rubbish. You are able to recycle glass bottles and jars, clean plastic bottles and containers, tins, cans, and paper/cardboard items at nine stations located around the city.

The trial will help us develop best practice for PPR in Wellington. Our hope is to set up these stations permanently at suitable locations.

The bins have been supplied through funding support to the Wellington City Council through the Litter Less, Recycle More project developed by the Packaging Forum, in partnership with Be A Tidy Kiwi.

Where are these recycling stations?

  • Cuba Mall outside WestPac Bank
  • Kelburn Park
  • Lambton Quay bus transfer station – Outside at Terminal D and inside at Terminal A
  • Courtenay Place & Taranaki Street, near Tommy Millions
  • Oriental Parade
  • Midland Park
  • Evans Bay Parade campervan site
  • The Wellington Cenotaph

What can be recycled?

In the yellow bins: co-mingled (mixed) recycling

Please recycle clean:

  • Plastic containers/bottles with numbers 1, 2 and 5
  • Tins and cans
  • Paper
  • Cardboard

We can’t recycle:

  • Polystyrene
  • Plastics numbered 3, 4, 6 and 7 (eg soft plastics, some sushi containers and compostable plastics)
  • Takeaway coffee cups
  • Batteries

In the blue bins: glass

Please recycle:

  • Glass bottles (no lids)
  • Glass jars (no lids)

We can’t recycle:

  • Broken glass
  • Drinking glasses
  • Window glass
  • Light bulbs
  • Crockery

In the red bins: rubbish

General rubbish including:

  • Soft plastics / plastic bags
  • Containers with food on them
  • Polystyrene
  • Food scraps
  • Takeaway coffee cups
  • Nappies

Who can use these bins?

These bins are to give the public the chance to recycle while out and about, and to help keep Wellington’s public places litter-free. The bins are not for commercial use, and are not to be used by businesses. However, these bins are not for residential recycling – they do not have the capacity to handle such volumes. They are for out and about recycling of drink bottles/cans.

How often are the bins emptied?

The bins use smart technology to minimise overflow, reduce collection costs and monitor usage - the technology notifies the collection team when it requires emptying. Recyclable items are then taken to Oji Fibre Solutions’ sorting and baling plant in Seaview. You can find out more about it on our Where your recycling goes section.

How will people know what to put in each bin?

There is a clear description on the bins. The bins bright colours also help users distinguish between the bins usage, are easily recognisable as recycling and rubbish bins, and the same colours are used across the national trial for consistency - so visitors will recognise the appropriate colour-coding from town to town.

Why haven’t we done a Public Place Recycling bin trial before?

We have run a recycling trial in the past, but unfortunately the bins were continually contaminated with rubbish so we couldn't continue. We're hoping the new design and public education will help to make this a success so we can make them permanent.

Feedback welcome

The installation of these Public Place Recycling bins is a trial, which also means we are taking on board all feedback on the design and content of the skins. We are passing on comments to our creative services team, who will develop a new skin later on in the trial, to best suit the needs of Wellingtonians and visitors to the capital.

If you wish to report a litter incident or make any comments on how we can improve our services please contact our Contact Centre on 499 4444 or by email info@wcc.govt.nz.