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Hamilton City Council is asking residents to only put the following items in their yellow-lidded recycling bins:

  • plastic bottles and containers marked with numbers 1, 2, or 5  
  • paper and cardboard (including pizza boxes)  
  • food tins  
  • drink cans.  

This means Council will no longer collect plastics 3, 4, 6, or 7 from kerbside recycling bins.

These changes are part of the Government’s move to standardise kerbside recycling across New Zealand from 1 February 2024, led by the Ministry for the Environment.  

Collecting the same recycling items throughout the country will provide clarity over what can be recycled at home, which means less contaminants found in bins, and less waste going to landfill.  

  Council’s Sustainable Resource Recovery Unit Director Tania Hermann encourages consumers to be mindful about what they’re purchasing, before they reach the stage of recycling.  

“It’s not only about recycling right, but being aware of what you’re buying when you’re at the supermarket. Choosing a plastic that’s accepted in the kerbside recycling bin means it can be remade into another item, and used time and time again,” said Hermann.

The principles of reducing and reusing items help promote the Ministry for the Environment’s long-term vision of becoming a circular economy.  

“Little changes we can make such as bringing a keep cup with you when you’re getting coffee, using your own container for takeaways, and choosing refillable options, have a big impact in keeping waste out of the landfill,” said Hermann. 

Lids are too small to be recycled successfully. However, if they’re joined to container bottoms (such as some cherry tomato containers), they can be left open in the recycling bin.  

Steel-can lids that are still attached can also be recycled. If the lid is not attached, it must be securely enclosed inside the can with the top of the can squeezed shut. 

Containers must be empty and rinsed if they’re dirty. 

Glass bottles and jars will still be collected from the blue/green crate.

Visit for more information on the recycling changes


Examples of what you can recycle:  

  • soft drink, juice, water, and milk bottles (usually made from plastics numbered 1)  
  • bathroom and laundry product bottles (usually made from plastics numbered 2)  
  • large yoghurt and ice cream tubs, margarine/butter tubs (usually made from plastics numbered 5)  
  • some pharmaceutical, cosmetics, sauce, and refillable bottles (usually made from plastics numbered 5)  
  • fruit punnets and meat trays (usually made from plastics numbered 1)  
  • clean drink cans and food tins  
  • paper and cardboard including pizza boxes (food scraps removed).  

Examples of what you can’t recycle:  

  • tissues and paper towels (these usually have food scraps or cleaning chemical residue)  
  • takeaway coffee cups, drink cartons, shiny gift wrap (these items can include other materials like plastic or metal)  
  • soft plastics (any plastics that can be scrunched into a ball). Check out the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme for a store locator to recycle these plastics  
  • compostable packaging and containers 
  • nappies and sanitary products 
  • fabric and clothing
  • aerosols, pots, pans, and foil (and items you normally find in a garage or garden that contain chemicals). Many garden stores (including Mitre 10, Bunnings and Kings Plant Barn) operate drop-off recycling schemes for plant pots.


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