Food and garden waste is collected weekly and is processed into certified organic compost. By putting the right stuff in the green bin, you’re making it possible for us to produce locally-made compost and reduce how much is sent to landfill.

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What goes in your green bin

We accept all food waste, most garden waste and cardboard or paper with food on it.

All food waste

  • fruit and vegetables
  • meat, bones and fish
  • bread and pastries
  • dairy products
  • coffee grinds and tea bags
  • shells and shellfish

Liquids can't go in any bin. Cooking oil can be dropped off at one of our EcoDrop Recycling Centres free of charge. 

Most garden waste

  • cut flowers, pruned branches and leaves
  • grass clippings, unless sprayed with a herbicide containing Clopyralid

We can't accept cuttings from flax, cabbage trees or soil. Put these in the red bin or dispose of them at an EcoDrop for a fee. 

Cardboard and paper with food on it

  • newspaper
  • pizza boxes
  • fish 'n' chip wrappers
  • kitchen paper towels, unless sprayed with cleaning chemicals

We can only accept paper that is smaller than an envelope or shredded. We can only accept plain cardboard (not glossy) and please ensure all tape is removed.

What can't go in your green bin

  • plastic bottles and containers number 1, 2 and 5 go in the yellow bin
  • all other plastics go in the red bin
  • biodegradable or compostable bags, liners and packaging – put them in the red bin
  • ash, timber and sawdust (let ash cool for at least five days before disposing of it in the red bin)
  • coffee/takeaway cups or lids – put these in the red bin
  • small dead animals such as rats and mice can be double-bagged and placed in the red bin.
  • larger dead animals such as cats and dogs should not be disposed of in any of the kerbside bins. If you are unsure of appropriate disposal options, please seek advice from your local veterinary clinic.
  • human or animal waste – put animal waste in the red bin
  • rocks, stones, gravel or soil – put them in the red bin
  • nappies – put them in the red bin
  • insulation (including wool-based products) – put them in the red bin

What happens to your organics?

Around 55,000 tonnes of kerbside organic material is processed per year at the Organics Processing Plant in Bromley. This food and garden waste is diverted from landfill, which saves everyone money.

Putting the right items in the green bin helps to produce organic compost. The compost is used on farms around Canterbury and beyond.

You can watch our video(external link) to learn more about what happens to your green bin material once it leaves your gate.

Biodegradable and compostable products


There are a lot of products out there labelled as biodegradable and/or compostable. These labels can be super-confusing as they all mean different things. We currently have no national standards for either biodegradability or composability in New Zealand. Without any clear standards, we are not able to accept any of these products in the kerbside green bin.

Organic certification 

We produce organic certified compost from the contents of your green bin. This is then used by organic farms to produce food, helping to create a more circular economy. A lot of products that are currently labelled as biodegradable or compostable are not approved as organic so can’t go through our composting plant.

Tips and tricks

Instead of compostable plastic bags, why not wrap food scraps in old newspaper or use an unlined paper bag? For other products (like coffee cups) it is best to invest in a reusable alternative.