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5 ways kiwis can celebrate Recycling Week

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

You’ve ditched plastic bags and straws, arm yourself with a reusable coffee cup on the morning run and collect all your household recyclables for the weekly council collection. So, what exactly is there left to improve on? For Recycling Week NZ (October 21 - 27), we’ve put together a few ways to amp up your zero-waste efforts from home or at work.

Don’t be a softie on soft plastics

Soft plastic recycling is making a comeback in most major cities, with business resuming in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington this month. At Countdown, The Warehouse and Huckleberry stores, you’ll find a special collection bin for all soft plastic packaging including: bread bags, bubble wrap, and snack wrappers. Check out this link for a full list of items you can recycle through this system.

Set up an office recycling station for ‘non-recyclables’

It takes just one hero to get everyone involved in cutting down waste at your office. Look at what waste isn’t getting recycled and see if there are any alternatives out there. A good place to start is through TerraCycle’s free recycling programmes for items not accepted in general kerbside collections such as coffee capsules for brands including Nescafé Dolce Gusto, L’OR and Moccona, and L’affare, pens and markers, and GLAD food storage products including ClingWrap and ziplock bags. If you send in larger shipments, you’ll even receive a donation toward the New Zealand school or charity of your choice. Recycling for a cause!

Learn what is and isn’t recyclable in your area

You might have noticed that different regions have different recycling rules. For example, some places such as Upper Hutt only accept plastic types 1 and 2 for council recycling. For this reason, it’s a good idea to double check what you’re throwing in your yellow bins can actually be recycled. Some councils are coming up with clever hacks to help you spruce up your recycling know-how such as this A-Z ReSource Directory by the Whanganui District Council.

Recycle your electronics

E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world and one of the most hazardous to our planet. It’s important that you don’t send electronic waste to landfill and look for ways to recycle them instead. A company called E-Cycle have drop off points throughout New Zealand where you can recycle items such as DVD players, mobile phones, and gaming consoles. If you’re in Auckland, organise electronic waste recycling events around the city for free. Check out their schedule of collection events on their website!

Don’t wanna Recycle? Why not Freecycle

The Freecycle Network is a grassroots movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free. It’s entirely non-profit and helps keep good stuff out of landfills. Head to to sign up and list items that you no longer want or need. While your there, feel free to check out if there’s any bargains up for grabs in your area!

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