Kerbside recycling

Image of a Whanganui resident and their kid putting their recycling crates out at the kerb

From July 2024, we will be providing a new kerbside recycling collection service to all residential-rated households in the city – as well as those in larger rural settlements including Fordell, Mowhanau and Marybank.

If your household is in the service area, you should receive a set of three black recycling crates sometime over May and June.

In the meantime, you can help by continuing to recycle correctly at the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre, avoiding unnecessary waste in your household, and disposing of unavoidable waste responsibly. 

View the kerbside recycling guidebook here(PDF, 3MB)

How the new kerbside recycling system will work 

Infographic explaining how to use your recycling cratesInfographic explaining what to do before putting recycling in your crates

Any crate, just separate!

If you need to, you can use more than one crate for one of the groups. For instance, if you had a bit of a party and were left with a lot of glass bottles – you could use two crates for glass that week. 

However, that would mean you could only put one other group in your third crate (i.e. only paper & cardboard). So, in that instance, you’d have to wait for the following week to recycle your plastic & cans.

The key thing to remember is you cannot put a mix of different groups in the same crate. If you put a mix of groups in one crate, that crate won’t be picked up.

Before putting your recycling in the crates

There are three important steps to follow before you put your recycling into the crates. You must:

  • rinse out jars, bottles and cans (and remove any food or liquid)
  • remove bottle caps and jar lids (these can’t be recycled)
  • flatten out any cardboard boxes.

Placing crates at kerbside

Place your recycling out at the kerbside by 7am on your collection day. Place crates as close to the kerb edge as possible; not in the middle of the footpath.

The crates are designed to be stackable – so if it’s a windy day, it’s a good idea to place your heaviest crate (i.e. the crate with glass) on top of the lighter crates (especially paper & cardboard).

What can you recycle?

What you can recycle

What can't you recycle?

What you can't recycle

Frequently asked questions

Why does Whanganui need kerbside recycling?

Until now, Whanganui has been one of the last cities in New Zealand not to have a council kerbside recycling program. Our community has told us that needs to change – with nearly 70% of residents supporting a council-funded kerbside recycling collection service.

Currently, more than half the material the average household in Whanganui sends to landfill could actually be recycled or composted* (based on waste audits of kerbside general waste bins).

As well as costing you money, sending recyclable materials to landfill is extremely wasteful – both economically and environmentally. 


Why crates and not wheely bins?

We’ve decided to use crates for our kerbside recycling service because they are the most effective system to reduce contamination and ensure we’re recycling correctly.

In recycling terms, contamination is when things that can’t be recycled are included with your recycling. This has been a really big problem for recycling services across New Zealand – and it makes sorting recycling much more difficult and expensive.

With our three-crate system, recyclable materials should already be sorted into groups when we collect them from kerbside – and unlike a wheelie bin (where you can’t see the contents), we’ll be able to quickly identify incorrect items and prevent contamination.


How much does this service cost?

The service will cost approximately $2.75 per week per household that receives the service. If your household is in the kerbside recycling service area, that cost will be paid by the homeowner via a target rate applied to their rates bill.

Something to keep in mind is that the more material you recycle, the less stuff you’ll have to put in your general waste bin. So, for some households, kerbside recycling may mean you can save money by reducing the size of your rubbish wheely bin and/or the frequency of your collection service.

Some local providers also offer ‘pay as you go’ options where you're only charged for weeks when you put your bin out.


Can households opt out of the kerbside recycling service?

If you are in the kerbside recycling service area, you cannot opt out. While you can choose not to use the service, all households in the kerbside recycling service area will receive crates and will be subject to the targeted rate. Having an opt-in service would not be cost effective and make it harder for Whanganui to achieve our goal of becoming a low waste district. 

It's also important to note that central government has indicated it will soon be mandatory for all councils across New Zealand to provide a kerbside recycling service to all urban-rated households. Whanganui is only one of just seven districts (out of the 78 in New Zealand) yet to have introduced a kerbside recycling service for its community.


What should I do with my recycling if it's windy?

Your crates are designed to be stackable, so on windy days it's a good idea to put your heaviest crate (most likely the one with glass bottles and jars) on top of the crates with lighter materials. You could also use an object like a brick to weigh material down.

If it's a really, really windy day - or if there's any serious weather event that affects the service - we may alert the community and advise you to wait till the following week to put your recycling out.

You can stay up to date and get real time alerts about our recycling service by downloading the Antenno app. We will also share updates via the council’s Facebook page.


How can I stay up-to-date and report issues with the recycling service?

The best way to keep stay up-to-date, and report any issues you might experience (like missed collections etc) is to download the Antenno app. It's free to download, easy to use, and enables you to receive live updates and changes to the service – and to report issues directly to us.

For those not using Antenno, we'll also be regularly providing updates on the council's Facebook page – and report issues by email via


What should I do if I can’t physically carry my crates to the kerbside?

We expect that most people in our community will be able to work out how to get the crates to the kerb – just as they do now with their rubbish bins. This may also involve using your car, wheelbarrow or other carrying device.

For people who may physically struggle to do this, we’re hoping family, friends, support people and neighbours will be able to support them.

For those people who don’t have a support person able to assist them, we will have an assisted collection service in place. Applications for this assisted service will be assessed on a case-by-case service. Community members can be apply for this service by contacting council via


Will the Resource Recovery Centre remain open?

Yes, the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre will remain open. This will ensure households in our wider district that are not included in the kerbside recycling collection service (i.e. rural areas aside from the larger townships of Mowhanau, Fordell and Marybank) will still have a facility to drop their recyclables off to.

It’s also important the facility remains open for households who have a particularly large amount of recyclable material that won’t fit within their three crates (for instance after hosting a party or an event).

The centre also offers opportunities to reduce waste and recycle materials like green waste, baby car seats, car/household batteries, e-waste, waste oil, scrap metal, fluorescent tubes, eco bulbs, soft plastics, and used sporting equipment (i.e. stuff you can’t recycle at kerbside). 


How do I do know if my household is included in the service area and when will I receive my crates?

Broadly, all residential-rated households within the Whanganui city limits, as well as most of those within the Marybank, Mowhanau and Fordell townships, will be included in the kerbside recycling service. For those households on the fringe of the city limits, we’re in the process of creating an address-based search system that will let you know if you’re household is included in the service (watch this space).

We’ll be rolling out the delivery of crates to households gradually between mid-May and mid-June. You’ll also receive an information pack with everything you need to know about using the new service and recycling correctly.