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Recycling FAQsNgā Pātai e Kaha Whiua Ana

There's been a number of recent changes (and improvements) to our kerbside recycling service. We realise you may have some questions, so we've tried to cover as many as we can here.

Tell me about NCC's recycling service

Your new weekly service using the three new black crates started on Friday 1 November.

NCC owns the crates and the unique code on them is allocated to your property. If you move please leave the crates at your property.

You cannot purchase additional crates as three are the limit for each property.

Properties that pay for the ‘kerbside recycling service’ in their rates will receive the recycling crates. Usually properties down a private lane or commercial properties won't be eligible for NCC crates and will need to organise a private recycling service.

NCC provide 3 x 45-litre crates - a total of 135 litres per week. It's worth noting that this adds up to 270 litres a fortnight, a greater volume than the 240-litre wheelie bin. 

A single 45-litre crate can hold at approximately 30 stubbie bottles.

Types of things I can recycle

In the designated crates, as long as they are put kerbside and are not overfilled, the contractor will accept:

  • clean paper and cardboard products;
  • washed and empty plastics with a 1 or 2 triangle on them, clean tins and empty cans;
  • empty, clean, unbroken brown, clear or green glass bottles and jars.

Cardboard, paper, junk mail, newspapers, wrapping paper, cereal boxes, shoe boxes, egg cartons, envelopes, office paper, magazines and clean pizza boxes.

Paper products mixed or attached to other products, paper products with plastic or metal spiral binding, plastic cover pages, ring binders, excessively waxy or plastic-coated paper.

Empty clean, rigid plastic bottles, jars and containers displaying the recycling symbol 1-2. Clean tin and aluminium cans.

Any plastics that are not labelled with a 1 or 2 in a triangle, or have a different number on them. Try to avoid purchasing products in these types of packaging.

Plastic bags and items in plastic bags, polystyrene like meat trays or appliance packaging, plant pots, toys, plastic film, plastic sleeves on some drink bottles, wrap or packets like frozen vegetable bags.

Plastics with the recycling symbol 3 -7. These are not recycled in New Zealand currently, so it would be irresponsible and inefficient of us to collect these, and then have them taken to landfill.

Empty, clean, unbroken brown, clear or green glass bottles and jars.

Broken glass products, drinking glasses, light bulbs, mirrors, window or automotive glass.

These products, once collected, are shipped to a bulk sorting plant which has specialist machinery which can either tell the difference between tins, cans, and the two types of plastics, or this can also be manually done by trained recycling sorters who separate the items.

The service

Our  service is a weekly kerbside collection service.

Smart Environmental ( are our kerbside recycling collection contractor. They are New Zealand owned and hold Council contracts throughout New Zealand.

It certainly does. Paper and cardboard gets recycled in Hawke's Bay and turned into apple trays to help our export market to thrive. This is why it is so very important to keep anything other than paper and cardboard out of the paper crates. No one likes a shard of glass in their apples! Glass is colour sorted and shipped to a specialist recycler in Auckland (the only one in New Zealand). Grade 1 plastic is sorted from the other recyclables and sent to Flight Plastics in Wellington, Grade 2 are sent to a number of destinations, (but mainly to Aotearoa NZ Made Ltd in Palmerston North ) and Comspec in Christchurch and to international recycling markets.

Through the recent series of public consultations relating to waste and recycling, the community showed us how important a kerbside recycling service is to them. Every property who pays for recycling in Napier is provided with the three Council crates, and the truck and staff employed will be going past that property to offer the service. If a resident chooses not to use that service, that is up to them. We cannot offer a refund for not using the service. This is a similar scenario to public libraries or parks for instance – a choice not to use the service exists, but the charges for this are unable to be refunded.

Many people have been contacting us for this option. We do have to look at each property individually that wants to opt-in to receive the service.

Consideration we take into account are;

  • The property has to be a residential dwelling within the serviced
  • There must be capacity available in the trucks servicing your area
  • The annual fee for the service must be paid in your rates. Contact us on 0800 4 NAPIER  or 06 835 7579 and select 6 and the customer services team will be able to assist you.

Contact us on 0800 4 NAPIER and select 6 - the customer services team will be able to assist you.

We have worked very hard to direct trucks effectively and use trucks which are suited to the type of terrain and roads that they have to service. On particularly narrow spots a small truck will be used, and where there is limited turning space at the end of the road, trucks may have to reverse with the use of personnel spotters for safety. Where things are very, very tricky, we may have to ask that you and your neighbours use a consolidation point to collate your recycling crates, so that there is no risk of your property being damaged during collection.

Napier City Council has been through a thorough tender process which saw submissions come in from multiple tenderers. This system used is based on a commonly used process, with independent consultants ensuring the process was fair and reasonable. The new contract is based on a seven year term, followed by up to three one-year extensions if key performance indicators are met.

The service cost is a transparent separate line on your rates invoice. If you are the owner of an eligible property, you will be charged $58 for the 2019/20 rates year. This is a subsidised cost, using some of the Omarunui Landfill Reserves to reduce the initial costs to ratepayers. Through the consultation process, ratepayers preferred the option of having this cost subsidised for the first three years, then paying the full service cost.

In the first instance, contact Napier City Council on 0800 4 NAPIER or 06 835 7579 and choose option 6. Our customers service team will try to assist you. It may not have been collected for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Your three council approved crates haven't been used
  • Overflowing crates
  • Cardboard is left outside of the crate
  • The items are incorrectly mixed
  • The item(s) can't be recycled
  • The item(s) haven't been rinsed or cleaned
  • Item(s) are not accepted in Napier
  • Crates have not been put kerbside
  • Crates were not put out prior to 7am on your collection day
  • It is a public holiday (your collection day will be carried out on the weekday following your normal collection).

There will normally be a sticker left on items or the crate that are not accepted. This will help you to understand what you might need to do to enable collection in the following week.

An assisted service is available for residents who need assistance to get wheelie bins and/ or recycling crates to their kerbside on collection days because of a physical disability or mobility issue.
The assisted service is strictly for those residents:

  • with a physical disability, mobility issue or another impairment that affects their ability to place their rubbish and/or recycling at the kerbside for collection,
  • and don’t have caregivers, family or neighbours who can help with this

To read more about the service and apply click the link below.

Application for Assisted Rubbish and Recycling Collection


Due to the very short turnaround time on developing this contract, putting it out to market, and choosing a successful tenderer, there has not been sufficient time to enable the building of new custom-built trucks. An interim fleet will be seen on Napier’s streets for the first few months, and some won’t look like the trucks you are used to seeing. In December our first brand new custom built truck will arrive, but in the meantime there will be a mixed fleet operating to ensure continuity of service. Bear with us while we transition the new fleet into the mix.

IMG 2875IMG 2876

To see the full conditions of service for kerbside refuse and recycling collections click here.

About the recycling crates

The crates belong to the Napier City Council and are assigned to each eligible property with a unique code. When you move house, leave your crates at it please.

Unfortunately not as the crates are purpose built, and provide a consistency that individually owned crates don't. There are also capacity and health and safety considerations to take into account for our operators and the methodology being used.


We are providing a kerbside collection, meaning that the collection of the recyclable material in your crates must be kerbside. This means crates must be placed on the edge of your grass verge, where the kerb and channel meet. Please see the photo below.

recycling 2withlabel edit4resize

You don’t have to put out all three recycling crates. You may only have small quantities of recyclable material, so maybe you could choose to put out only the paper crate one week, followed by the plastic the next week and the tin, cans and plastic crate the week after. It’s best if your crate is almost full. Remember that recycling won’t be collected from a crate if you mix items. For example, have glass in one crate with paper, or paper in with plastics and tins.


Yes, you can. If you have found that you have missing crates or they are broken, you are able to purchase additional crates for $15 each. Contact our customer services team and they will help you with this. As the crates are all uniquely identified and assigned to a particular property. If they are found later, we will give them back and refund you.

The new crates are made of a grade two plastic (High Density Polyethylene), but 30% of the plastic mix in each crate is made from locally sourced plastic milk bottles that have been recycled to make them. With the crates made for Napier, it means we have diverted almost 720,000 plastic milk bottles from landfill and made something useful with them.


At the time that we initiated the crate roll-out and for the foreseeable future, class 2 HDPE plastics are recyclable.

We highly recommend reducing the quantity of plastics and cardboard or glass that you are purchasing. If you genuinely have too much recycling for your weekly collection, for no extra charge, you can take it to:

Redclyffe Transfer Station 
193 Springfield Road, Taradale
Ph: 06 844 4945.
Open: 7.30am - 5pm Monday - Saturday and 9am - 5pm Sunday.
Closed Good Friday, Christmas and New Year's Day

If you have a business on your premise, then it means you are producing quantities that are at commercial levels and a commercial recycling contractor could help you with this.

Unfortunately due to capacity and health and safety requirements, additional crates cannot be purchased. However if you need to replace a crate that has become broken or lost, that is possible. Contact our customer service centre for more information on how to do this.

The crates are designed to stack at 90 degrees to each other. We suggest that if it is a windy day, you place you glass crate on top of your plastics, tins and cans crate to stop plastic blowing away. In your cardboard and paper crate, put the heaviest items e.g. magazines or carton cardboard, on top of loose papers. If you don't have enough bottles to make a weight, then you can use a brick on top of your crate to weigh it down.

We've learnt from other council’s that wheelie bins create a mix of recyclable products that Hawke’s Bay has no facility to sort. This causes a huge amount of contamination and means that a lot of what comes from a wheelie bin ends up in landfill.

By providing a sorted kerbside solution, the yields are separated and we're able to recycle a greater percentage of what is collected.

The new crates are also stackable so you can put your glass crate on top of your tins and plastics so windblown litter becomes less of a problem. We've put a lot of thought into the service and made decisions based upon what works and what our residents told us they want.

Also, the cost to ratepayers to provide a wheelie bin to each and every eligible household is huge expense. Buying crates in bulk meant we got them at a very cheap rate and could use some money from the Omarunui Landfill Reserves to pay for them. As a result, rates didn’t have to be increased to supply them.

We encourage you to reuse them if you can. They could be useful containers for gardening equipment, old shoes, garage storage or taking gear to the beach. You could see if your local school or kindergarten would like them too.

If you still choose to get rid of some or all of your containers, you can drop them off for free at the Redclyffe Transfer Station (193 Springfield Rd, Taradale) from Saturday 26 October or take them to the annual Recycling Day on Saturday 2 November (at Anderson Park).

At the Recycling Day people who want to use your old crates for storage can collect them. Or they will be taken away and sorted. And where the crates are recyclable, they will be chipped and made into a new plastic product.

Absolutely! If your house has just been built and you haven't received your recycling crates, contact our Customer Service Team on 0800 4 NAPIER. Once you have your new crates, we'll get our recycling contractor to pick them up on our next recycling collection day.

Last and least... what about rubbish?

Without being too preachy, we encourage our residents to be mindful of the 5 Rs of Zero Waste - Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Rot and - finally - Recycle. We hope you'll throw out a little as possible. However, we do have a weekly rubbish service - please refer to Rubbish Collection for more information.


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