Recycling Beyond the Kerb

Support your low waste resolution this year by creating new habits with alternative recycling schemes.  

Kerbside recycling is a convenient and efficient way to recycle common items like plastic, glass and cardboard. Recently more and more recycling initiatives have been launched in NZ, giving New Zealanders the option to recycle hard-to-recycle items. Learn more and make landfill your last choice.

To get you started here is a list of alternative recycling opportunities in NZ. Once you get into a routine, you may be surprised how little time it takes. 

1. The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme  

We are big fans of this ever-growing NZ initiative (if your one for the finer details, you’ll love these 2022 growth stats). All the Chantal Organics pouches and wrappers in the new look can be recycled through this scheme. To make it easy, the soft plastic logo can be found on pack. Read more about why we choose to use soft plastic recyclable packaging.

Collecting plastic packaging and dropping it instore, can make a big impact on the amount of waste you send to landfill. More and more brands are opting into this initiative, so look for the soft plastic logo on pack. Find out more about this scheme and find a drop off location near you here

2. Tetra Paks Upcycled into Construction Board  

Save BOARD is a new industry-led recycling venture which processes used beverage cartons into ready-to-use, low carbon, environmentally sustainable, construction boards. These boards can be used in place of plywood, oriented strand board, plasterboard or chipboard.

The first NZ manufacturing plant is located in Te Rapa, Hamilton. It’s sustainable practices include:

  • The process has a 100% yield rate.
  • The full carton is utilised.
  • It uses a low energy process.
  • Both post-industrial and post-consumer material can be recycled.
  • The board can be recycled again at the end of its life. 
  • Get the finer details here

If you are In Auckland, empty Tetra Paks can go into kerbside recycling bins and are recycled with other paper fibre products. For all other locations nationwide, these must be dropped into a collection point. Find a location near you. 

3. Visit your local Environmental Centre.  

Environmental Centres are a great place to learn more about sustainable practices, get tips on low waste living, drop off recycling, talk to a knowledgeable and passionate team, and join a community of like-minded people. Find a list of Environmental Centers across NZ. 

Learn more about community collaboration at Environment Hubs Aotearoa (EHA), which is an umbrella organisation in NZ with a mission to support and empower local centers and their members to create thriving, resilient and sustainable communities. 

4. Fashion, Waste and Sustainable Clothing  

Fast fashion has spiralled into endless textile waste. Here are a few tips for moving out of the fast lane and into slow fashion.  

5. Recycle old lightbulbs at Mitre10.  

All household lightbulbs can be recycled at Mitre10. Simply drop them into a Lightbulb Recycle Box. Mitre10 have partnered with a recycler who break down the lightbulbs and reuse the raw materials for other products. Learn more about this free service.

6. Child Car Seats – Recycle Not Landfill  

SeatSmart is both a sustainable and social initiative, founded by 3R, leaders in sustainability. Old and expired child car seats are collected nationwide, dismantled, and recycled. Tonnes of plastic and metal have been diverted from reaching the landfill each year.  Any brand of booster, convertible seat or capsule are accepted. Find a collection site near you

This program also supports social justice through the dismantling process by providing employment or work experience for people who have a disability or are disadvantaged or marginalized. 3R work alongside the Department of Corrections community work program, offering work experience to offenders. 

7. Complex Recycling with TerraCycle  

Can everyday items like: toothbrushes, razors, deodorant bottle and beauty product packaging be recycled? TerraCycle is on a mission to recycle the unrecyclable.  They do this by involving brands to fund innovative recycling initiatives for their consumers. They offer a variety of free recycling programs, as well as the Zero Waste Box

8. Collect your Coffee Capsules.  

If you love your coffee capsule, you can love the planet too. It’s simple to collect the used capsules and send them in to be recycled. Most brands in NZ have a system to recycle their capsules. Check their website for details. 

Here are a few popular brands and how to recycle them. 

  • If Nespesso is your cup of choice, you have the option to send them by NZ Post or dropping them into a collection point. Find the details here
  • L’OR, Moccona, Illy & Jed’s, and Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsules offer a free recycling program. Simply collect capsules in any box you have, download and print a free shipping label and send them in. Get the details here

9. Compost it!  

When food ends up in landfill, it decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen) and emits methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. Sadly, NZ households throw away 157,389 tonnes of food into landfill each year. Not only is this wasteful, but it is contributing to climate change. 

The answer: Compost it! This may sound both easy and complicated. Depending on your situation, here are a few possible solutions: 

  • Set up your own compost. There are many bins on the market to choose from. This informative blog is helpful in setting up an efficient compost at home. 
  • Build your own compost. Learn how here.
  • Another option is to get a worm bin. Check out hungry bin
  • Get a greenwaste service. Check online for a service in your area. 
  • Get involved with Compost Collective, a group helping Aucklanders reduce food and garden waste. 
  • Find a local composting community group.  Sharewaste is an app that connects people who want to donate or take organic waste. 

It’s great to see more and more companies taking responsibility for recycling solutions. Now it’s up to you. Be realistic and start with one new scheme at a time. Will you make the commitment to increase your recycling efforts?