Recycling – yellow bin

By putting the right stuff in the yellow bin, you’re making it possible for us to recycle. Remember to give your bottles and containers a rinse, make sure they are loose and put the lids in the red bin. Your recycling bin is collected every two weeks.

From 1 February 2024, there’ll be a few changes for Christchurch and Banks Peninsula residents to keep in mind when sorting their recycling, organics and rubbish. 

New national standards for kerbside bin collections are in place, which means most Kiwis can now sort their recycling, organics and rubbish in the same way. 

To help you prepare, we’ve updated our website with the new guidelines.

Get collection information and tips with our mobile app

What goes in your yellow bin

The only items that can go in the yellow bin are: 

  • Clean cardboard and paper, such as newspapers and flattened cardboard boxes such as empty pizza boxes (with food scraps removed).
  • Clean plastic bottles, trays and containers that are larger than a yoghurt pottle and smaller than 4 litres. These are items:
    • numbered 1, such as soft drink bottles
    • numbered 2, such as milk bottles
    • numbered 5, such as family-sized yoghurt and ice cream containers
  • Clean food and drink tins and cans. Make sure not to squash them. 
  • Clean glass bottles and jars.

It's important that all bottles and containers have the tops or lids removed and to put any lids in the red bin.

What can't go in your yellow bin

  • Aerosol cans - put these in the red bin.
  • Household appliances e.g. kettles, jugs, toasters etc - Take these items to the EcoDrop.
  • Metal items e.g. pots, pans, coat hangers, tools and machinery- Take these items to the EcoDrop.
  • Clothing, shoes, fabric or bedding - Drop these in your local clothing bin or if damaged put them in the red bin.
  • Gas bottles, fire extinguishers or batteries - Take these items to the EcoDrop.
  • Soft plastics, plastic film, plastic bags, or strapping - Put them in the red bin.
  • Disposable nappies  - Put them in the red bin.
  • Broken light bulbs, and window glass - wrap well and put them in the red bin.
  • Disposable coffee cups, liquid cartons or polystyrene  - Put them in the red bin.
  • Wet paper, used paper towels - Put them in the red bin.
  • Food or green waste - Put them in the green bin.
  • Paint, automotive products, dry chemicals - Take these items to the EcoDrop.
  • Drinking glasses or crockery - Take these items to the EcoDrop or wrap them and put them in the red bin if broken.

Anything else needs to go in your red or green wheelie bin, or you can drop it for free at nearest EcoDrop.

What happens to your recycling?

Putting the right clean items in the yellow bin helps to keep our recycling quality high. This means the recycling markets, where we sell our recycling, are more likely to buy it when compared to lower quality recycling.

If we lose access to any of our recycling markets, either here or overseas, it’s likely that we will have to send this material to landfill. It costs much more to send material to landfill than to recycle it.