What is happening

  • In November 2022, the then Government agreed to five policies to improve household recycling:
    • standardising the materials collected in household recycling
    • introducing a council household recycling service to all urban areas
    • introducing a council household food scraps service to all urban areas
    • data reporting for private household recycling providers
    • a performance standard for household recycling and food scraps diversion
  • Of the five policies, only standard materials for household recycling has come into force.
  • The Government is considering whether the remaining four policies will continue as planned.
  • Some considerations will include the current economic situation, how these policies contribute to minimising waste, the impact they would have on carbon emissions, and how implementation timing could work within local government planning cycles.
  • We will keep stakeholders updated as decisions are made.

The original policy proposals followed the Transforming Recycling consultation in 2022, which showed public support for these initiatives.

Standard materials for kerbside collections

As of 1 February 2024, the materials collected from households for kerbside recycling are the same across Aotearoa New Zealand. The accepted materials are:

Standardising the materials collected across the country aims to improve the clarity and effectiveness of kerbside collections. This will reduce confusion about what can and cannot be recycled at the kerbside.

Detailed requirements for what materials are accepted in council managed kerbside recycling, food scraps, and food organic and garden organic collections can be found on the New Zealand Gazette website.

This guidance document provides industry and local government further explanatory detail on the kerbside standard materials changes. The Recycle right at kerbside website has information for the general public on what can go into council kerbside recycling.