Sort and prepare your kerbside recycling

13 November 2014

Hands up: how many of you clean your tins and bottles before chucking them in your recycling bag?

Workers at Southern Landfill sorting recycling at conveyor belt

Workers on the sorting line at Seaview-based recycling facility Full Circle


Those of you feeling sheepish might be interested to know you might as well have thrown your dirty baked bean can in the bin – unclean recycling can’t be processed by our sorting facility, and is sent off to the landfill.

All of Wellington’s recycling is sorted by hand – just as it was back in 1971 when rubbish was collected in hessian sacks by the ‘dusties’. Technology has changed the way our rubbish is collected, but a team of workers is still needed to pick out the recyclables that can’t be processed – either because they have food left in them or they’re made of materials that can’t be recycled.

Sometimes sharp and dangerous items also find their way on to the sorting line, posing a major risk to the team that’s handling your recycling. So before you throw something in your green bag or bin, check it’s clean, not sharp, and is recyclable. You can find a list of recyclable material at