Kerbside recycling collection to resume in the capital

8 May 2020

Kerbside recycling collection will resume in Wellington on Tuesday 12 May, but the scenarios will differ depending on the Government’s Alert Level status announcement this Monday.

Green recycling crate filled with glass bottles.

If the Government announces a shift to Level 2, kerbside recycling collections and recycling processing will resume.

However, if the announcement is an extended Level 3, the regional sorting facility will remain closed. This means it will not be possible to process recycling, but for those who want to put their stockpiled recycling out for collection, our contractors will be restarting their collection services. Any recyclable material collected at Level 3 will be disposed of at the Southern Landfill as there is nowhere for these materials to be safely stockpiled in the meantime.

Regardless of Alert Level 3 or 2:

  • Collections will be on the same days and the same recyclable items will be picked up as they were prior to lockdown, as stated on the recycling calendar.
    • Except where collections would usually be on Monday 11 May, these will be collected on Saturday 16 May to ensure they don’t miss out. Please check our website for the correct collection days.
    • Only official receptacles (green/clear recycling bags, recycling wheelie bins and glass crates) will be collected. The exception to this is that neatly bundled cardboard will be collected if placed besides recycling bags or wheelie bins.
    • Free packs of recycling bag deliveries will restart, for those households that usually receive them, with an estimated distribution time of 6 weeks.

We will also be able to recycle collected glass as we have worked with our contractors to enable this material to be sent to Auckland for processing without any physical contact with staff.

Recycling has had the highest amount of queries out of every Wellington City Council service since lockdown started, so it’s good to be heading in the right direction, says Mayor Andy Foster. 

“We received a lot of feedback from residents throughout Alert Level 4 and Level 3 who felt that we should have continued collections throughout these levels. The priority was the health and safety of our staff, contractors and manual hand sorters at the recycling plant. With the reducing trend of the virus spread, particularly in Wellington, our collectors feel more confident in being able to collect safely at this point.

“If you don’t want to have your recycling collected and taken to landfill if Level 3 is extended, please continue to hold onto it if possible until Level 2, when the recycling sorting plant will open.”

At Level 2, the processing plant in Wellington will reopen, so collections will be taken to the facility in Seaview. We are expecting high levels of materials, and if the plant is inundated, trucks will be directed to landfill until levels subside to be more manageable. If you have a lot of recycling, putting it out in stages will help us to manage volumes.

Waste Minimisation portfolio lead, Councillor Laurie Foon, says while it’s good news that recycling collections will be starting soon, the goal is to not need recycling collections at all.

“The COVID-19 lockdown has made many people more aware of the amount of recycling they have, as the stockpiles don’t lie! We need to look at better ways to reduce waste and recycling – minimising food scraps, packaging and containers is an easy way to start.

“Since Alert Level 3, more of Wellington’s bulk stores have been operating. The public can order online and pick-up from the stores in their reusable, sterilised glass jars.

“Now’s also the perfect time to set up your own composting system if you have room – a bokashi, worm farm or compost bin is a great way to use up scraps. You can even put ripped paper and cardboard, including pizza boxes, into your compost bin or use it for new garden beds or mulching around trees.”

Monday suburbs:

  • Khandallah (north)
  • Broadmeadows
  • Johnsonville
  • Churton Park
  • Newlands
  • Paparangi
  • Woodridge
  • Grenada Village
  • Tawa
  • Grenada North
  • Takapu
  • Glenside

If you are in these suburbs, your collection day will be moved from Monday 11 May to Saturday 16 May.

For Johnsonville or Newlands, please check our recycling calendar to find out whether your collection is your glass crate or your wheelie bin/recycling bags.

For Tawa, please double check if this change relates to your street.

Please note, collection days and times for the inner city are different for the suburbs. Place your bags out on the footpath between 5.30pm and 10pm on Tuesday night. Recycling is collected on Tuesdays after 10pm from the central business district. All recycling materials must be sorted and placed in clear plastic bags.