Community & Environment

Time’s up for ripped rubbish bags

With only one week to go before Hamilton City Council’s new rubbish and recycling kerbside collection gets underway on Monday 31 August, torn rubbish bags are set to become a thing of the past.

The new service uses a three-bin-and-one-crate system to collect rubbish and recycling, including an animal-proof, lockable organic food scraps bin. The new food bin will enable food scraps to be disposed of environmentally, instead of being tossed in with general rubbish.

Hamilton City Council Infrastructure Operations Manager Eeva-Liisa Wright, says the new food bin’s lid locks when its handle is up. “That will not only solve the problem of dogs, cats and other animals trying to get at food scraps, it will also make the new red rubbish wheelie bin less smelly too, because food will be in a separate bin.

“The other two bins are a medium-sized red lidded wheelie bin for rubbish (including small non-recyclable lids from plastic and glass containers), and a larger yellow-lidded wheelie bin for recycling (all plastics 1-7, cardboard, paper, tins and aluminium cans).”

Getting the bins ready for putting out
Ms Wright adds that it’s important to rinse plastics and glass first before putting them in their respective recycling bins – and any small non-recyclable lids should go into the red wheelie rubbish bin.

“When presenting the bins at the kerb, ensure that they face the road, with bin lids closed. Avoid overfilling the bins, otherwise they might not be emptied. Bins need to be out by 7am on the day of collection (but not before 5pm the day before).”

“Residents won’t have to put all their bins out at once. The wheelie bins are put out in alternate weeks (red week – rubbish, yellow week – recycling). Recycling week is also when residents can put out their existing glass recycling green crate too. Only the food scraps bin goes out weekly. Check out your handy how-to guide and collection day calendar or download the free mobile app Antenno for collection day details.”

More recycling possible under the new service
Hamilton City Council’s City Waters Manager, Maire Porter, says the new kerbside collection service will collect all plastics types 1-7, and it will be able to recycle type 5 plastics as well as types 1 and 2.

“Plastics types 3, 4, 6 and 7 will initially still need to go to landfill for now though, until a recycling solution is found or the international restrictions change for these types of plastics,” she explains.

“The good news is that most plastics collected will be recycled, as plastics 3, 4, 6 and 7 represent less than 5% of household rubbish and recycling collections in New Zealand. On the food scraps front, previously this material has accounted for almost 50% of Hamilton residents’ landfill waste by weight, so the new organic food scraps bins will significantly reduce that figure,” says Ms Porter.

Ms Porter says the new kerbside collection service will transform the way people reduce waste and improve their opportunities to recycle. “We’re all looking forward to the start of the service next Monday, 31 August.”

Council is aiming to achieve a 25% decrease in the per capita kerbside rubbish to landfill within four years and a 50% increase in the per capita kerbside recycling within four years. Together, reaching these targets will divert more than 100,000 tonnes of anticipated waste from landfill in the next 10 years.

Extra recycling and more info
Excess recycling can be taken to the recycling section of Hamilton City’s Refuse Transfer Station – note however, with plastics, only types 1, 2 and 5 can be directly accepted at the transfer station.

A handy guide booklet should have arrived in your letterbox by now. If not, all information is able to be downloaded at

The website will also have a collection day calendar which can be used to find out which bins to pop out each week, just by entering an address. This will be available once the new service starts. People can also choose to receive notifications about their collection day, by downloading the free mobile app Antenno from the App Store or Google Play.

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