What can I recycle easily in the Waikato District area?

What can I recycle easily in the Waikato District area?

If you live in or visit the Waikato District area in New Zealand, this is what you can recycle at the kerbside. And here are some useful options for recycling items that are not part of the usual council collections.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Along with reducing and reusing, recycling is a key way to avoid so much waste going to landfill. Benefits of recycling include:

  • Conserves natural resources
  • Protects ecosystems and wildlife
  • Saves energy
  • Reduces carbon emissions
  • Saves money
  • Creates jobs in a circular economy

When we improve our recycling habits, we can help keep the environment clean and preserve our natural resources.

Recycling in Waikato District

Waikato District Council in New Zealand has a weekly recycling collection, alongside the rubbish that goes to landfill. They can collect flattened cardboard and paper, and recycling in a maximum of two Council recycling crates.

There are some rules about how to recycle, these are from the Waikato District Council website:

  • Wash all items, to remove food residue.
  • Sizes accepted – containers up to 4 litres can be recycled (except Tetra Pak cartons, which go into the rubbish).
  • Remove lids from milk bottles (lids have to go into the rubbish, as they can cause problems in the recycling machinery)
  • Put glass in one crate, and put tins, cans and plastics types 1, 2 and 5 in the other crate. If you only have one crate, put out glass one week and tins, cans and plastic the second week. You can buy another crate from the Council if you want to.
  • Put paper and cardboard between or under the crates, or in a cardboard box – not in the crate.
  • Piles or boxes of Cardboard and paper need to be 50cm x 50cm x 50cm.
Recycle right with Waikato District Council

Soft Plastic Recycling – where to take it, and what you can recycle

Recycling soft plastic packaging is something you can do to reduce waste to landfill.

Soft plastics that can be recycled
From The Soft Plastics Recycling scheme website

The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme website has all the information you need about what you can recycle, and where you can drop it off. Plus it has links to the companies they work with to make new products from the recycled plastic, such as Future Post.

Collect all the soft plastic packaging which you use at home, make sure the bags are clean, empty and dry and drop them into the Soft Plastics Recycling bins at supermarkets and other stores.

The Soft Plastic scheme currently accepts these items that they recycle:

Bread, pasta & rice bags
Bubble wrap and large sheets of plastic cut into pieces the size of an A3 sheet of paper first
Cereal box liners
Chocolate & muesli bar wrappers and biscuit packets (wrapper only)
Cling film which is clean – and please make sure it is LDPE (resin 4)
Coffee & Tea bags (light foil lining)
Confectionery wrap; chip packets with light foil
Courier packs
Dairy wrappers
Dry dog food bags
Fresh produce bags and netting citrus bags
Frozen food bags (frozen vegetable, fries, burgers, nuggets, poultry etc.) 
Garden potting mix bags
Ice pack bags – (empty and dry)
Newspaper wrap
Plastic packaging around toilet paper, kitchen towels, nappies and sanitary products
Polyethylene bags / Polypropylene reusable bags
From https://www.recycling.kiwi.nz/faqs
Recycle soft plastic
Image from https://www.recycling.kiwi.nz/

Other ways to reduce waste

These ideas are summarized from my post about reducing waste, read the full article at 10 Ways to reduce your household waste


Buy items that have paper or cardboard packaging, which is easy to recycle. Other ways to reduce the packaging you end up with include:

  • Use reusable bags for fruit and veges.
  • Use reusable containers for deli items.
  • Shop at bulk stores or use the bulk bins at supermarkets – you could use your own containers, jars, or bags.
  • Buy products in recyclable glass jars and bottles, tins, cardboard or paper.


Composting is one of the best ways to remove food waste from your kitchen bin.

Keep a compost caddy in a kitchen cupboard, which you can use for non-meat food scraps, fruit and vegetable leftovers like peel and cores, and some paper and cardboard too. These all go into the garden compost bins

If you can keep chickens where you live, they are excellent way to deal with meat and dairy leftovers, and fruit and vegetable scraps.


Buying second hand items helps reduce packaging waste, and may stop something from going to landfill. Op Shops or Charity Shops are a win-win; you can find great quality items at a lower price than brand new, plus you can support a charity at the same time.

Read my article What do charity shops want you to donate for ideas about what to look out for at second hand shops.


Use a refillable water bottle, and a reusable cup for takeaway coffees.

Here are some ideas for easy swaps to remove single use plastic items.


Store leftover food in containers, or use beeswax or elasticated ‘shower cap’ type food covers. Or just pop a plate over the top of a bowl to go into the fridge.


Collect the following items for these schemes:

You can also find recycling schemes for these types of household waste:

Recycle bins
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

What do you wish you could recycle but can’t yet?

There are a few items that I would like to recycle but there is currently no scheme for them. These include:

  • Medication packaging, particularly tablet blister packs and asthma inhalers
  • Broken glass or crockery – this is dangerous for the staff at recycling facilities
  • All types of plastic. Or better yet, companies only use plastic where absolutely necessary, and if they do use it, only use types that can be recycled easily.

What do you think? Love to hear your comments on recycling

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