Frequently Asked Questions
How do I put my bins out?
Households must place their wheelie bin(s) and crates on the kerbside of the homes by 7.30am on their designated day.
- Place the crate and wheelie bins in a row on the verge outside your house as close as possible to the road.
- Place bins one metre apart. This is so the lever arms of the truck can pick the bin up.
- Close the lids on the bins.
- Don’t overfill bins. Lid must close shut.
- The bins should face the road (ie, handle facing your property).
- Do not restrict access to driveways.
- Don’t put the glass crate(s) on top of the wheelie bin, leave on the ground.
Flats, shared driveways and cul-de-sacs might cause some congestion issues. If you can’t fit your bin directly outside your property, please work with your neighbours to find a safe and appropriate location to place your bins. This may mean some residents have neighbours’ bins outside their property on collection day. When you retrieve your bin, please check you take the right one! Remember they are labelled and geo-tagged to your address.
Let’s all work together to make sure bins aren’t blocking paths or driveways – we want all our residents to get around.
Why did Council decide on wheelie bins?
Council resolved to introduce a 240 litre wheelie bin for recycling and a 120 litre wheelie bin for rubbish for its urban household waste collection service in November 2019.
This followed significant public consultation during September and October. We received 546 submissions, with 407 submitters opting for what is outlined above. One of the options was to introduce an 80 litre bin for rubbish, but 68% of the submitters wanted the larger bin.
Wheelie bins were favoured because of minimising animal activity, easier and safer to handle, large families and convenience.
It is very difficult to deliver a system that individually suits every ratepayer. It is a one size fits all system.
This system also allows for enhancements in future years like the introduction of a greenwaste bin or food scraps. NOTE: this has not yet been discussed at Council, but is a benefit of moving to a wheelie bin based system.
Where do I take excess recycling?
Excess recycling can still be taken to a Council facility like the Tokoroa and Putāruru transfer stations or the Tīrau recycling drop off facility. Please follow this link for opening hours.
What happens to my bins when I move house?
Your bins do not move with you, as they are registered and geo-tagged to each property. Please do not take the bins when you move.
Can I get more bins?
No, there is one charge for recycling and one charge for rubbish that is allocated to each rateable unit. This means that each rateable property will get one recycling and one rubbish wheelie bin.
Council is not currently looking at changing this or looking into multiple options for multiple ratepayers. It is a one size fits all approach.
The new Council service will provide:
- 240 litres for all recycling except glass, fortnightly
- 120 litres (existing crates) for glass recycling, fortnightly
- 120 litres for rubbish, weekly (this is equivalent to two green bags each week)
If the service is not sufficient for your household, you can supplement the Council service with a private service. There are a number of private waste contractors operating in the district. Use Google.
Why is the rubbish bin small?
The rubbish bin is 120 litre capacity. This is equivalent to two green bags. Most households currently put out one or two bags per week. This capacity is a good like for like for most households.
Remember our rubbish collection remains weekly.
We all need to work together to minimise waste to landfill. Have a look at all the products you buy and recycle everything you can.
We understand there may be some circumstances where more rubbish space is required. A number of people supplement their rubbish already with a private service. This can continue.
Remember most households currently put out one or two bags. This volume is consistent with the size of the new wheelie bin. The cost of this change for rubbish is pretty much like for like.
Do commercial businesses get wheelie bins too?
Yes, commercial businesses get wheelie bins for rubbish and recycling.
Commercial businesses are reminded that the wheelie bins and matching rate charge is for household levels of rubbish and recycling only.
What can I put in my wheelie bins?
From December 2022:
- Recycled items including clean plastics (1s, 2s and 5s only), tins, cans, cardboard and paper go in the 240L wheelie bin (yellow lid).
- Other household rubbish goes in the 120L wheelie bin (red lid).
- The existing green and maroon crates will now be for glass ONLY.
- All products must be clean. Plastic, glass and tins rinsed/washed AND cardboard (food packaging) free from food scraps.
- No lids, caps, tops (including bottle tops and tin lids).
- Only plastics 1s, 2s and 5s are acceptable. All other plastics must go in the rubbish. Look for the recycling symbol.
What if I am late putting my bin(s)/crates out?
In the past, if you were late putting out your Council rubbish bags for instance you could just drop the bag off a the transfer station free of charge, however that is no longer possible with the wheelie bin. You can take your wheelie bin to the transfer station yourself to empty, but there will unfortunately be a charge.
If you anticipate that you will be away, perhaps make an arrangement with a neighbour to pull your bins out.
Also because rubbish is in wheelie bins now, animal activity on the kerbside is far less of an issue, therefore bins could be placed out the night before too, without fear of animals making a mess.
The short answer, is try not to miss your service! Remember that the rubbish service is still weekly, not fortnightly; where this could be more of an issue.
What happens to my green and maroon crates?
Both the green and maroon recycling crates will be used to recycle glass. These need to be placed next to your wheelie bins on your fortnightly recycling collection day, as per your current recycling collection schedule. The information pack delivered with your bins will contain two blue stickers that you can stick over the existing messages on your crates, to remind you that the crates are now for glass ONLY (see image below).
What happens if my bins go missing or are damaged? What does Council do and what does it cost?
In the event your wheelie bin(s) goes missing please contact Council on 07 885 0340. We will make every effort to locate your bin. Bins are geo-tagged to addresses, so if your bin is located at another property, it will be returned to you.
If your bin is not located, unfortunately, Council can’t keep supplying new wheelie bins free of charge.
If your bin is damaged, a Council Officer will investigate the details around the damage and an assessment will be made on a case by case basis as to whether the replacement is at Council's cost or property owner cost or shared.
The cost of new wheelie bins is linked here.
Can I opt out of this service?
There will not be an opportunity to opt out. The kerbside rubbish and recycling collection service is funded through rates and bins will be rolled out to each eligible household in the District. If the service is not used, you will still be charged an annual targeted rate, similar to some of Council’s other services like libraries, swimming pools etc.
My property/address does not receive kerbside waste collection services, will I pay for the service on my rates?
This service is a targeted charge to urban properties, similar to water supply.
Unless the collection areas change, at which time there will be extensive community consultation.
I am a landlord/property manager, what happens if/when my tenants take the bins when they leave their tenancy?
Landlords/property owners are encouraged to note the wheelie bins and crates as chattels on the property and ensure that the bond covers the replacement, should they be removed.
The bins and crates remain at the property. Council cannot cover the cost of missing bins.
What is the Three Strikes system?
The Three Strikes and You’re Out system is being introduced as part of the new waste collection service. It is a common system throughout New Zealand to combat recycling contamination. The system is not much different to what we are currently doing with contaminated crates being stickered.
This system only applies to the recycling bin and glass crate(s).
With the Three Strikes system, the first time recycling contamination is noted, a yellow sticker will be stuck on your wheelie bin, reminding the resident of the recycling rules.
The second time recycling contamination is noted, an orange sticker will be stuck on your wheelie bin. You will also receive a visit from a Council officer to have a chat about the contamination in your wheelie bin. This visit will assist you on your recycling journey. The orange sticker and visit will highlight that if a third strike happens, your recycling collection service will be suspended for twelve weeks (six collections).
The third time recycling contamination is noted at your address, a red sticker will be stuck to your wheelie bin. You will also receive a letter explaining that your recycling collection service (not rubbish collection) has been suspended for a period of twelve weeks.
Remember that one wheelie bin of contaminated recycling can contaminate an entire truck load of recycling. This wastes the efforts of every other person.
- If a property that currently has the service suspended is sold to another occupier, the service is reinstated immediately.
- If the tenants change, new tenants are encouraged to contact Council to discuss reinstatement of their service.
If my service is suspended will I still pay for the service on my rates? Or if I am a tenant, will my landlord still pay for the service?
Yes, suspension of the service while the charge remains can be seen as a penalty for not taking the appropriate level of care with your recycling. Remember that if you don’t recycle properly, your contaminated recycling can contaminate the entire truck; wasting the efforts of everyone else.
Remember too that Council has been running recycling education campaigns for a long while now, and the rules haven’t changed with the introduction of the wheelie bins. Remember too that having your service suspended is the third step in the Three Strikes system.
What if I can’t physically cope with the wheelie bins?
If you think you may struggle with the bins, please contact Council on 07 885 0340. A service request will be raised and sent to a Council Officer who will contact you to talk about a solution.
What if my drive way is long or steep?
There are products on the market that enable you to tow your wheelie bin with your car, which could be helpful. A link is below:
Do rural ratepayers get this service?
No. Rural ratepayers have never received a kerbside waste collection service, nor do they pay for the service.
There is a recycling charge on rural rate bills. This is for the management of the three recycling drop off facilities in the district.
This charge is not for the kerbside collection.
Who keeps the bins clean?
That is the responsibility of the homeowner.
Can the recycling crates themselves be recycled?
The short answer is no they can’t be recycled. Durable plastic products like our crates, and other items like chairs and tables contain material that cannot be recycled.
The longer answer is please don’t get rid of your crates. They need to stay with the property when/if you move, ready for the next owner/occupier. This applies to the wheelie bins as well.
Can the recycling crates be upcycled?
If you find that you don’t need all of your recycling crates under the new system, you can use your crate for other things, in the garage or toy room for instance. However the crates must stay with the house when/if you move, ready for the next owner/occupier. The crates (and wheelie bins) stay with the property.
Should I line my recycling bin? Should I put my recycling in plastic bags?
No, please don't. Just put your clean recycling - plastics, tins, cardboard and paper, directly into the recycling bin (yellow lid). Plastic bags are made from a soft plastic that is not recyclable.
What help can Council offer me and my family regarding recycling more and putting less in the rubbish?
In order to support our community’s ongoing waste minimisation journey, a Council Officer can visit you and your family on request to provide some additional tips and guidance on how to increase recycling and minimise rubbish at the household level. Contact Council on 07 885 0340 to book an appointment. We’re happy to help!
Can Council control what plastics manufacturers use and what plastics can or can’t be recycled?
No. Council has no control over either of these aspects; Council does appreciate and acknowledge that recycling properly given the need to rinse, flatten, remove lids etc takes time and effort. We all need to do our bit to minimise waste to landfill.
Council also appreciates that there are a large number of products that still come in plastics that can’t be recycled. Council advocates whenever and wherever possible to have this investigated and changed at a Central Government level. This is not something Council can control.
What can consumers do?
Where possible, stop buying over packaged and poorly packaged products. Look for alternatives and shift to those. Reward manufacturers that have made the switch with your dollars/spend. Stop using the flimsy plastic single use bags for fruit and vegetables; buy some reusable bags and use those. Visit the plastic free NZ website here for more ideas on minimising your use of plastics.
What weight can the bins have?
Between 20 and 30kg for a 120ltr bin is the norm. The average weight currently of the 120 litre wheelie bins that our contractor Envirowaste collects in other areas is 23kg. Remember the bins are mechanically lifted by lever arms to empty.
What if I have an existing private collection service for my greenwaste?
Council’s kerbside collection service does not include greenwaste. Greenwaste can be taken to the transfer stations in Putāruru or Tokoroa for a charge, or people can simply retain their existing private greenwaste kerbside collection service.
What if I have currently a private collection service for rubbish?
Council’s kerbside collection service includes rubbish. Rubbish is placed in the small Council wheelie bin with the red lid. This bin is emptied weekly. The bin is 120 litres which is approximately the same volume as two of the existing (old) green rubbish bags. If your household or business can get by on 120 litres of rubbish per week, then the Council service should be sufficient. If your household or business requires more than 120 litres, then you will need to retain your private service.
What if the amount of rubbish my household or business generates is more than what can fit in the rubbish wheelie bin (red lid)?
Council’s kerbside collection service includes rubbish. Rubbish is placed in the small Council wheelie bin with the red lid. This bin is emptied weekly. The bin is 120 litres which is approximately the same volume as two of the existing (old) green rubbish bags. If your household or business can get by on 120 litres of rubbish per week, then the Council service should be sufficient. If your household or business currently generates more than that, you will need to supplement the Council service with a private rubbish service.
Why couldn’t I just keep my private wheelie bin and use it for the Council service?
That would be too complicated to rollout across our townships for several reasons: multiple different private suppliers, Council doesn’t own the bins, changing lids to match appropriate colour lids, different coloured bins making pickups confusing for our contractor, different size of wheelie bins not consistent with the Council service, installing the geo-tags appropriately and labelling with addresses.
Who owns the crates/wheelie bins?
Bins and crates belong to the property. If people move, they must not take their bins and crates with them.
What can my household do to reduce rubbish to landfill?
No one knows the common household products that you buy better than you do!
- TIP 1 - Learn which of the products you buy can be recycled and which can’t. For plastics products, look for the recycling symbol. This will make sorting your recycling and rubbish a lot quicker.
- TIP 2 - Substitute products where you can. If you usually buy a brand that uses a non-recyclable plastic, stop buying it. Switch to a brand that uses a recyclable plastic.
- TIP 3 - If a product you like comes in a tin and a plastic container and the plastic container is not plastic 1, 2 or 5, choose the tin because that can be recycled.
- TIP 4 - Meat trays can be difficult to clean. Buy meat from a butcher and use your own reusable containers.
- TIP 5 - Stop buying your coffee fix in a takeaway cup! Use a reusable one.
- TIP 6 - Start a compost heap for your food scraps.
- TIP 7 - Learn how to make your own products. Making your own yoghurt cuts down on the amount of plastics 3,4, 6 & 7 you buy. Making your own pasta cuts down on the amount of soft plastic you buy.
- TIP 8 - In your next supermarket shop, buy net veggie bags. Stop using the flimsy plastic bags for fruit and veg!
RECYCLE REUSE REDUCE REFUSE
Should I use a plastic bin liner in my rubbish wheelie bin (red lid)?
You can if you want, however our advice is not to. It is just more unnecessary plastic to landfill.
If you are worried about the bottom getting messy, rather line the bottom of your rubbish bin with newspaper.
You could also start composting your food scraps, to get them out of the rubbish bin.
The responsibility for cleaning the bins is the householder. A squirt of dishwashing soap and a hose out as required should do the trick.
My bin lid sometimes blows open in the wind, and I come home to find it not emptied? What can I do?
Council can install bin clips to stop this happening. There is a cost to this. Please see our Fees & Charges here.