Frequently Asked Questions

Kerbside collection | Recycling crates and wheelie bins | How do I get a recycling bin | TV recycling | Disposal charges |

Kerbside collection

It is important that your bag, wheelie bin and recycling bin are out on the kerbside before 7am. 
View information about kerbside services here. 

Collection routes and times are subject to change due to a number of circumstances. You should not rely on collectors driving down your street at the 'usual' time.

If your rubbish/recycling was not out before 7am and has not been collected, you will have to contact your collector. Depending on the policy of your contractor, you may than have to take the rubbish/recycling back onto your property or take it to one of the district's transfer stations.

Under the Kāpiti Solid Waste Bylaw (that applies to both residents and collectors), a bag/bin/crate has to be taken back onto the property if it has not been collected by the end of the usual collection day.

Your recycling will not be collected at the same time as your rubbish so don’t be alarmed if it is still waiting to be emptied later in the day.

Don’t be alarmed if rubbish bags, wheelie-bins or recycling crates on one side of the street have (not) been emptied: health and safety standards prohibit collection from both sides of the road at once. 

During collection, trucks will periodically drive back to the transfer station to drop-off the collected recyclables (for processing).

Unable to meet kerbside collection time

If 7am is too early to put your rubbish/recycling out, you can put it out the day before collection, from 12pm.  Make sure that your bag is tied/taped and that your recycling crate is packed in a way that prevents lighter items from being blown away.

What is the collection day for my area?

My property is not in an urban collection area, what can I do with my rubbish and recyclables?

The following options are available for rural residents:

  • Pre-paid rubbish bags from private collectors (60L) can be dropped off free-of-charge at Otaihanga, Waikanae and Ōtaki stations;
  • Plain rubbish bags or larger amounts of general waste (e.g. car boots, vans, trailers etc.) can be dropped off at Ōtaki Transfer Station or Otaihanga Resource Recovery Facility;
  • Wheelie-bin collectors can be contracted to provide a weekly, fortnightly or monthly on-property wheelie-bin collection;
  • Recyclables can be dropped off free-of-charge at any one of the district’s transfer stations; and 
  • Agrecovery and Plasback provide rural recycling services for many different horticultural and agricultural products. Some items are collected for free. Agrecovery collects chemicals, containers, and plastic drums. Call 0800 247 326 for more details or visit Plasback collects silage wrap, crop protection netting, plastic bags and drums, and twine. Call 0508 338 240 or visit for details.

What can you do with ‘prohibited’ waste or items not collected?

Kerbside recyclables and large (flattened) cardboard boxes can be dropped off free-of-charge at all three of the district’s transfer stations.

The following items can be dropped off free-of-charge for recycling or safe disposal:

  • Kerbside recyclables (Waikanae, Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Large (flattened) cardboard boxes (Waikanae, Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Plastic film/pallet wrap (Waikanae - in the plastics #4 slot)
  • Paint (Otaihanga, or ask your retailer if you can return tins)
  • Batteries, including car batteries (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Gas bottles and fire extinguishers (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Cellphones (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Fluorescent light bulbs including eco-bulbs (Otaihanga)
  • Plastic agrichemical containers (Ōtaki, first Tuesday of each month, 9am-3pm; check for details)

The following items can be dropped off for recycling or safe disposal (recycling fees apply):

  • TVs and CRT Monitors (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Fridges and freezers (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Expanded foam polystyrene (Otaihanga)
  • Tyres (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Waste oil (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)

Note: glass items like broken mirrors, window glass or broken Pyrex bowls must be disposed of as general waste - please do not put these items in the glass recycling drop-off bins. 

In most cases, the local glass crusher in Ōtaki is able to take window glass. For more details, call 027 270 8206 or visit

Other drop off facilities throughout the district:

Clothing bins for used clothing and rags (many also accept toys and bric-a-brac) and charity shops for reusable items.

It pays to check with your retailer to see if you can return waste items after use (e.g. paint tins, batteries, agricultural products or chemicals.)

What happens to the items I put out in my kerbside recycling bin?

Most of the recyclables collected in the Kāpiti area are transported to the Otaihanga Resource Recovery Facility (ORRF).

The ORRF is run by MidWest Disposals. MidWest staff do everything they can to reduce the amount of waste which needs to be landfilled.

There is a perception that recyclables are being collected and then taken to landfill without any effort to recycle. This is not the case.

Aluminium cans from collection and drop off stations go to either Waste Management Recycling or Sims Pacific Metals. Both companies are located in Seaview. The aluminium cans are sorted, crushed and baled into 'bricks' in preparation for shipment to customers.

Recycled aluminium cans are taken by local scrap metal dealers and exported primarily to Australia for reprocessing.

At smeltering plants, the bricks are fed into a furnace where the aluminium melts. It is then cast into small 'ingots' or sheets ready for processing into products - such as new aluminium cans. Aluminium can be recycled over and over again without a loss of quality.

Steel cans are transported to either Waste Management Recycling or Sims Pacific Metals.

Used steel cans provide a good source of steel scrap. A steel mill in Auckland takes most of this where it is melted down ready to be recast into such things as construction beams and girders.

Paper and cardboard is transported to Waste Management Recycling to be baled and exported or transported to NZ recyclers like Carter Holt Harvey.

The paper products are graded into 5 categories: newspapers, magazines, mixed paper, white paper and cardboard. These types are baled separately in preparation for transport. Paper is shredded and made into a pulp that is used to produce new paper products.

Recyclable plastic is transported to Waste Management Recycling to be sorted into the different grades (1-7) and baled. A small amount is sold locally but currently most plastics are exported - mostly to South East Asian countries.

The recyclers wash, shred and melt the plastic to form pellets or powder to be remade into products such as car bumpers, motor oil, bottles, detergent bottles, pipes, buckets, rubbish bags, pallets, non-food bottles and material fibres that make things such as polar-fleece clothing, sails for boats, carpets and fibrefill.

When the commodities market falls, buyers/exporters are sometimes not able to move grade 3-7 plastics. The market fluctuates month by month. When there are limited markets, grade 3-7 plastics have to be stockpiled and sometimes, unfortunately, some have to go to landfill. This is not standard practice, however.

Besides the influence of the market for recyclables, a small amount of each load will go to landfill after sorting. The main reasons for this are broken glass contamination and/or non-recyclable materials (rubbish) mixed in with the recyclables. When such contamination occurs it makes the potentially recyclable products no longer usable for recycling.

The ideal situation where all waste is recycled might be a long way off, but the council is committed to supporting initiatives that facilitate the vision of Zero Waste to landfill. For that reason Kāpiti's licensed rubbish collectors are required to provide kerbside recycling to their customers. The council also provides waste education to schools, organisations and the wider public, with a view to increasing the percentage of recyclable material diverted from landfill. This will encourage recycling businesses to set up in New Zealand or in our region.

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Recycling crates and wheelie bins

It is important that your recycling crate or wheelie bin is out on the kerbside before 7am. 
View information about kerbside services.

What you can recycle at the kerbside

Materials classed as kerbside recyclables in the district are:

Plastics 1 to 7, including milk and soft drink bottles but excluding foam polystyrene

  • Look for the recycle symbol and number on the bottom of the plastic container and in the lid as well.
  • Remove lids to easily clean and squash the plastic container before recycling. Lids can go into the bin too if they have the recycle symbol.

Clean plastic bags, including supermarket bags and bread bags

  • Make sure they're clean, bundle them up in one bag and tie them together so they don't blow around.

Aluminium and steel cans, including food, beer and soft drink cans

  • Clean and squash flat (if you can) before recycling

Glass bottles and jars (green, brown and clear)

  • Take lids off bottles and put them in the rubbish.
    • These lids cannot be recycled as most of them contain a plastic coating that is non-recyclable.
  • Empty and rinse bottles before recycling.

Paper and cardboard (only clean)

  • Full colour circulars, magazines, window envelopes and small items of brown corrugated cardboard
  • Cardboard tubes, egg cartons, small thin cardboard boxes (e.g. flattened cereal or laundry detergent boxes), clean and empty pizza boxes (free of sauce, crusts, bottle tops, serviettes etc).
  • Office paper, newspaper, glossies/brochures
  • If you use a recycling crate, tie the paper and cardboard in bundles or place in supermarket bags. They can be stacked on top of the recycling crate top stop other items from blowing out.

What you cannot put in your bin

Polystyrene – including meat trays, hot drinks cups and packaging

  • Plastic wraps – including shrink wrap, bubble wrap
  • Clothing or shoes – take to drop off bins for re-usable and recyclable clothing and shoes
  • Oils or paint tins
  • Scrap metal
  • Broken glass – frosted glass, window glass, blue glass, mirrors
  • Drinking glasses or cups, pyrex, light bulbs, ceramics or crystals
  • Ceramics, pottery or kitchenware
  • Mixed paper products like milk and juice cartons
  • Wall paper or any other paper contaminated by glue, wax or food
  • Greasy food containers, take away drinking cups
  • Soiled tissues
  • Large cardboard boxes or packaging

Why you can’t put certain things in your bin

There are materials which are recyclable in principle but which cannot be put in your bin because these materials are often contaminated.

Contaminated material can't be hygienically stored for recycling or be processed for recycling. If there are contaminated items in your bin, the whole contents of your bin can no longer be used for recycling.

Examples of contaminated items are polystyrene food trays, take away food packaging and soiled tissues. These items will always contain some food/fluid residue which makes them no longer usable for recycling. That is why you need to put these items into your regular rubbish.

Materials that are not kerbside recyclables but are often found in recycling crates or wheelie-bins:
Nappies, lightbulbs, ceramics, plastic wraps, scrap metal, clothing, shoes, kitchenware, pottery etc.

Materials that won't fit into your recycling crate or wheelie-bin:
Cardboard boxes are a difficult item when it comes to kerbside collection because they vary greatly in size.

The collector is not able to take larger cardboard boxes (like packaging boxes), whether it's one box or a few tied together. Even if neatly flattened and/or tied together, these flattened boxes are too wide to fit within the compartment of the truck designated for paper and cardboard.

Prohibited waste:
Any glass that is broken can potentially hurt someone else and that's why you can't put broken glass jars and bottles in your recycling crate or wheelie-bin

"Prohibited waste" is defined in our Solid Waste Bylaw and describes materials that cannot be put out for any kerbside collection, for various reasons but mostly to not endanger anyone else.

Please note:
Some of these (smaller) items can be put in your rubbish bag or wheelie-bin when they have been properly and sufficiently wrapped in newspaper, like regular lightbulbs or a broken drinking glass.

Packing a kerbside recycling crate (mixed recycling crates only)

Packing the crate is a bit of an art form – here’s is the general plan:

  1. Put all your light items on the bottom, with heavier ones on top – this will help prevent wind blown recyclables ending up all over your street.
  2. Fold paper and cardboard and either pop them in a plastic shopping bag, or tie them up with string, place this in the bottom of your container along with any shopping bags or bread bags.
  3. Wash and squash your plastic bottles, steel and aluminium cans, and place them in your container.
  4. Finally add any glass bottles or containers and you’re ready to put your container at kerbside for collection.

If your crate is full, you can put your folded and tied paper and small cardboard either on top of the bin or stack it against the bin.

The contractor will only pick up a reasonable amount of smaller sized cardboard and paper that is tied together if that is stacked beside your bin.

Cardboard boxes full of empty bottles and other recyclables put out as ‘extra’ crates, will not be collected. If you have excess recyclables, you are asked to purchase an additional crate or drop them off at one of the transfer stations. 

How do I get a recycling crate and/or bin?

If you live within the urban residential area, your rubbish collector will supply you with a recycling crate and/or bin, which remains their property.

EnviroWaste and Low Cost Bins provide a wheelie bin for paper, cardboard, plastic and cans, along with a separate crate for glass items. Waste Management and Lucy's Bins provide one crate for all recyclables. If you use pre-paid rubbish bags, EnviroWaste is your collector and will supply the recycling bin and crate on request.

Waste Management customers can purchase an additional crate from Waste Management for the purposes of recycling if one crate is not big enough for their circumstances.

All recycling bins and crates are now registered to specific customers and addresses, so that the different collectors know where to collect from. If you are moving, make sure you let your collector know in advance and they will advise what to do with your crates and bins.

Only households designated as urban will receive a kerbside recycling service. Unless a rural household has a special arrangement with a recycling collector, they should use the recycling depots at Park Avenue, Waikanae, Ōtaki Recovery Centre or Otaihanga Resource Recovery Facility.

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TV Recycling

How do I recycle my TV or computer monitor?

CRT TVs and computer monitors are accepted at the Ōtaki and Otaihanga transfer stations for recycling. A fee is charged for each unit. These items are not accepted as general waste.

Council subsidises the recycling fee by about 50 per cent using money from its share of the National Waste Levy (there is no contribution from rates). This means that residents will be charged per unit at the transfer station gate.

The subsidy has been very successful: to date, over 7,000 units dropped-off at Kāpiti transfer stations have been recycled by the accredited recyclers.


Otaihanga landfill  (cleanfill only)

Cleanfill (soils, sands, gravel)
  - must meet the cleanfill acceptance criteria 

$12 per tonne

$8 minimum charge less than 350kg

Pre-approved cleanfill (1) no charge

(1)Pre-approval must be obtained from the Solid Waste Services Manager in advance for disposal at no charge. Contact us to arrange this.

Fees for pre-paid rubbish bags, green waste and gate fees at the Otaihanga and Ōtaki resource recovery facilities are all set by commercial collectors and operators and are therefore not included in the schedule.

Solid waste licence fee

$172.00 annually

Related links

Otaihanga Resource Recovery Facility charges

Ōtaki Resource Recovery Centre charges

Composting New Zealand Greenwaste charges

Free drop off

More information about rubbish and recycling 

Otaihanga Resource Recovery Facility charges

MidWest Disposals Ltd manages the Otaihanga Resource Recovery Facility and sets all gate charges for this site.





Car boot


Full car


Station wagon/4WD


Trailer/Ute/Van < 300kg


Trucks & trailers via weighbridge
< 300kg = minimum charge

$177.20 per tonne
$53.00 minimum charge

Polystyrene – bulk

$4,100 per tonne

Child car seats (recycling fee - optional)*

$10 per item

TVs, CRT monitors (recycling fee)**

$25 per item 

Whiteware – stoves/dishwashers

$19 each

Whiteware – fridges/freezers (covers degassing)

$40 each

Car bodies – stripped or unstripped

not accepted

Car tyres

$6 per tyre

Truck/tractor tyres

$25 per tyre

Waste oil

$1 per litre

Hazardous waste - up to 1 litre

$35 per unit

Demolition                                                           < 300kg = minimum charge

$177.20 per tonne
$53.00 minimum charge

Special waste - stumps/logs                               < 300kg = minimum charge

$310 per tonne
$95.00 minimum charge

Asbestos (double wrapped)                                < 100kg = minimum charge

$470 per tonne
$50.00 minimum charge

Weigh only


Weigh – gross & tare


Note: The Council no longer accepts asbestos at the Otaihanga Landfill.  An alternative drop off for small quantities is provided by the operator of ORRF.  The operator sets the charge.  Contact the operator for drop off requirements - 04 298 5207. 

* Child car seats can now be recycled through the SeatSmart scheme. Check out for more information.

** The actual cost of recycling TVs and CRT monitors is around $45 per item. The Council currently subsidises this cost by $20 per unit using Waste Levy money.

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Ōtaki Resource Recovery Centre Charges

Envirowaste Services Ltd manages the Ōtaki Resource Recovery Centre and sets all gate charges for this site





Full car




Trucks & trailers via weighbridge
< 350kg = minimum charge

$156.50 per tonne
$42.20 minimum charge

Car tyres

$5.30 per tyre

Truck/tractor tyres

$12.70 per tyre

Bulk tyres

$322.90 per tonne

Waste oil (recycling fee)

$1 per litre

Liquid paint

$1.70 per litre 

TVs, CRT monitors (recycling fee)*

$20 per item

Fridge/freezers (de-gassing and recycling fee)

$28.20 per item

Car bodies

not accepted
Cleanfill not accepted
Hazardous waste not accepted
* The actual cost of recycling TVs and CRT monitors is around $45 per item. The Council currently subsidises this cost by $20 per unit using Waste Levy money. 

Composting New Zealand Greenwaste Charges

Charges set by Composting New Zealand and apply at the Otaihanga, Waikanae and Ōtaki drop-off sites



Per bag (<60L)


Wool sack


Car boot


Full car/Station wagon



$14 - water level
$16 - non water level

Trucks - high side 

$15 per cubic metre 

Trucks - low side 

measured as trailers 


Trailer size $13 $14 $16 $18 $25 $35
Less than 6ft
or 1.83mtrs
single axle trailer - water level single axle trailer - raised load single axle trailer - high side      
Less than 8ft
or 2.44mtrs
  single axle trailer - water level single axle trailer - raised load single axle trailer - high side    
Less than 10ft
or 3.048mtrs
    single axle trailer - water level single axle trailer - raised load single axle trailer - high side  
Less than 12ft
or 3.65mtrs
      single axle trailer - water level single axle trailer - raised load double axle trailer - high side
Greater than 12ft
or 3.65mtrs
double axle trailer - water level 
Minimum charge
Based on water level.
Excess will be measured and charged accordingly 

Free drop off

The following items can be dropped off free-of-charge for recycling or safe disposal:

  • Kerbside recyclables (Waikanae, Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Large (flattened) cardboard boxes (Waikanae, Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Plastic film/pallet wrap (Waikanae - in the plastics #4 slot)
  • Useable paint (Otaihanga, or ask your retailer if you can return tins)
  • Batteries, including car batteries (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Gas bottles and fire extinguishers (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Cellphones (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Fluorescent light bulbs including eco-bulbs (Otaihanga)
  • Plastic agrichemical containers (Ōtaki, first Tuesday of each month, 9am-3pm; check for details)

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Updated 30 June 2017