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Waste essential services continue

Here's what you need to know

Published: 6 May 2020

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Don’t park it in. Make sure the collector can see your bin, and it’s not blocked by vehicles.

Auckland’s kerbside rubbish, recycling and food scraps collections are considered essential services and will continue as usual. All mixed paper and cardboard recycling collected in Auckland are being recycled again beginning in May after they were sent to landfill in April due to global COVID-19 restrictions.

In order to keep providing this service, the council is following all Ministry of Health guidelines to ensure that public health is not compromised.

Here are the steps that you can take to make sure your kerbside collection is picked up.

  • Collections should be placed kerbside by 7am on your normal day.
  • As more people park on the road, make sure your bins are visible and are not blocked by vehicles. The collectors need to be able to access your bin using the automated technology as much as possible to reduce unnecessary contact.
  • The “pay as you throw” refuse service is running as normal and tags will be checked and collected by the drivers. Rubbish bags and pay as you throw bin tags are still available from most supermarkets for areas that have this service. 
  • Anyone with a food scraps bin should avoid placing tissues in them. These, and other hygiene products, should be bagged and placed in rubbish bins.
  • Wipe down your bin handles and wash your hands after you’ve touched your bin.

Landfills, transfer stations and community recycling centres

The Community Recycling Centres, Waitākere Refuse and Recycling Centre, Waiheke Transfer Station and Claris Landfill on Aotea / Great Barrier Island are open to the general public for limited hours and services

The Waitākere Refuse and Recycling Centre is open to the public Monday to Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 8am-4pm. Expect delays due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. Check Google Maps for live updates on wait times. Traffic management measures are in place to reduce queueing and maintain traffic safety. 


The inorganics service for mainland Auckland will resume on July 1st. Neighbourhoods that were scheduled during the service interruption will be rescheduled first, and the schedule for the remainder of the year will be shifted accordingly. We will contact customers with existing bookings to advise them of their new date. The booking tool will re-open in mid-June for the remainder of the year.  

Aotea / Great Barrier Island and Rakino Island inorganics services will be rescheduled for later in the year and customers will be advised in advance of their booking window. Waiheke Island properties that missed their booked collection during the service interruption will be contacted directly to advise on arrangements.

Recycling services continue

Recycling markets are impacted by rapidly changing global COVID-19 circumstances and may be adjusted monthly. Plastics numbered 3-7 will be separated out after collection and sent to landfill as the council has been unable to secure a market for these materials. These plastics represent less than 4 per cent of the total recycling market in Auckland.

Our process for emptying recycling bins is automated, so there is significantly less human touch involved in the collection process. We handle much higher volumes than smaller cities, so our sorting facilities are able to meet the physical distancing requirements to operate safely in indoor work environments. We also have a larger workforce to rely on at this crucial time, which enables us to provide this service if part of the workforce is unable to work. 

How you can minimise waste

We encourage people who are compost-curious to learn online from our community partner, the Compost Collective. Their facilitators are available on social media to answer questions and provide virtual support.

This is also a good time to minimise food waste by eating the parts of food you may have passed up before, like broccoli stalks, bread crusts, and potato skins. We have a free cookbook, and there are recipes and videos available from Love Food Hate Waste.


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