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Waste essential services continue

Here's what you need to know

Published: 27 March 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 at this point in time. 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 during this lockdown period 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.
  • Rubbish bags and pay as you throw bin tags are still available from most supermarkets for areas that have this service. If you do not have access to a tag, please give us a call at 09 301 0101 to make arrangements.
    • Your pay as you throw tag will be left on the bin and not taken off by the collector. You’ll need to remove this yourself when you put on a fresh tag for the next collection. This is to minimise the contact our collectors have with your bins each day.
  • 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.
  • If you are on a property without a bin, you can request one by calling 09 301 0101, but no bin removals, exchanges or repairs can be done at this time.

Adjusted services

The Waitākere, Waiheke, and Aotea Great Barrier Island Transfer Stations are closed to the general public and open only for licensed waste collectors providing essential services. Community recycling centres are also closed.

Household on-property inorganics collections beginning 26 March onwards have been postponed for the lockdown period, and customers have been advised of rescheduling.

The April 2020 round of Waste Minimisation Innovation Fund (WMIF) grants has been deferred.  The next round of WMIF funding grants later in 2020 will be topped up with an additional $25,000 for small grants, reflecting the total of the deferred April 2020 funding round. 

The decision was reached in order to accommodate businesses, community groups, education providers, such as schools and kindergartens, and other organisations that are unable to make applications before the 30 April 2020 deadline, due to COVID-19 Level 4 Alert restrictions.

Parul Sood, General Manager for Waste Solutions says making these adjustments will allow the waste team to concentrate on the most critical collection services.

“We are all grateful to the drivers and team members who are working around the clock to make sure that essential services are maintained safely at this time,” she says.

Recycling services continue

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. We urge Aucklanders to place their bins in an easily accessible location and ensure they are not blocked by vehicles.   

As of 1 April 2020, all mixed paper and cardboard recycling collected in Auckland will temporarily be sent to landfill because of global COVID-19 restrictions. Read more about this change here.


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 still fully 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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