The red rubbish bin is collected every two weeks. This is for all items that can’t go in the green or yellow bin, except hazardous items and chemicals which can be dropped for free at the EcoDrop.

Get collection information and tips with our mobile app

What goes in your red bin

These items must go in the red bin:

  • Tea bags.
  • Aerosol cans.
  • Food soiled paper and cardboard. 
  • Takeaway coffee and drink cups.
  • Takeaway containers, such as burger boxes, fast food and takeaway boxes.
  • Containers over 4 litres, such as large water and oil bottles and bulk cleaning containers.
  • All lids including ice cream containers, butter and family-sized yoghurt lids.
  • Fabric bags, textiles and clothing.
  • Soft plastics such as shopping bags, plastic film, bread, pasta, and rice bags, frozen food bags and courier bags.
  • Liquid cartons, such as juice cartons, almond and soy milk.
  • Compostable and bio-degradable bags and packaging.
  • Ash, timber and sawdust (let ash cool for at least five days before disposing of it in the red bin).

What can't go in your red bin

  • Explosives and flammable material or gas bottles.
  • Liquid chemicals, household cleaners or dry chemicals.
  • Car, boat or truck batteries.
  •  Paints or solvents.
  • Dead animals or pets.
  • Hot material such as ashes.
  • Medical needles or sharp objects capable of puncturing the bin.

You can take most of these items to your local EcoDrop or a transfer station for disposal.

Want to do more?

Helpful tip to reduce your waste.

Soft plastics go in your red bin

All soft plastics must go in your red bin, that’s any plastic you can scrunch in your hand.

Common soft plastic items include:

  • plastic shopping bags
  • bread, pasta, and rice bags
  • frozen food bags
  • courier bags
  • bubble wrap and plastic furniture wrapping 
  • plastic wrappers for confectionery, muesli bars, and biscuits
  • cereal liners
  • pallet fire bags 

If you're unsure, you can search for specific items on our Wheelie Bins app.

Why you can't put soft plastic in the yellow bin

Soft plastics can’t be recycled in the yellow bin and should only go in the red bin or the soft plastic takeback bins(external link). When soft plastic gets mixed up with recycling it can mean the whole truckload ends up in landfill, here’s why:

  • Our processing plant can only handle clean and topless plastics bottles and containers.
  • Soft plastics can get caught in the sorting machine, causing breakdowns.
  • When they get caught up with accepted recyclable products it can stop them from being sold and recycled.

Soft Plastic Recycling scheme

The soft plastic takeback scheme returned to Christchurch on 15 February 2021.

For information and locations, please visit the Soft Plastic Recycling website(external link).

Ash, timber and sawdust go in your red bin

How to safely dispose of hot ashes

  • Let ash cool for at least five days in a metal bucket or container before disposing of it in the red bin, otherwise, it may cause a fire.
  • Place timber offcuts, sawdust and cold bagged ash only in your red rubbish bin when disposing of it.
  • Do not burn treated timber offcuts. When we burn treated timber, it releases large amounts of toxic heavy metals into the air we breathe, and the ash left behind contains 100 times the concentration of toxic heavy metals as the original piece of wood.

Why ash can't go in the green organics bin

  • It can raise the arsenic levels in the compost which means it might end up going to landfill.
  • As little as a third of an ice cream container of ash can be enough to contaminate the contents of one whole green bin collection truckload of organics waste.
  • If ash gets in there, we can’t get it out, and contaminated compost can’t be added to soil to help grow our food and gardens.

Find a trusted firewood merchant

For a list of firewood suppliers which have been reviewed and accredited by Environment Canterbury please visit Warmer Cheaper(external link)(external link)

Safe fireworks disposal

  1. Completely submerge fireworks in a bucket of water. Allow to soak overnight.
  2. Double wrap soaked fireworks in plastic wrap or plastic bags so they do not dry out.
  3. Dispose. Place wrapped bags in the red bin.