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New Nationwide Recycling Rules in New Zealand

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Starting from February 1st, New Zealanders across the country will need to adjust to new recycling guidelines as part of a nationwide standardization effort initiated by the previous government.

The move aims to streamline recycling processes and minimize contamination by ensuring that everyone follows the same set of rules regarding what can and cannot be placed in kerbside recycling bins.

What You Can Recycle:
Under the new system, all district and city councils will accept the following items in recycling bins:

Glass bottles and jars
Paper and cardboard
Plastic bottles, trays, and containers marked with grades 1, 2, and 5
Tin, steel, and aluminum cans
Plastic containers’ grades can be identified by a triangular symbol with a number inside, usually found on the container. In Auckland, certain spice containers over 50mm in height made from container glass or plastics 1, 2, or 5 are also recyclable.

What You Can’t Recycle:
The new exclusions from February 1, 2024, include:

Items smaller than 50mm, such as caps and small containers
Aerosol cans made of steel and aluminum
Liquid paperboard like Tetrapak and juice boxes
Plastics marked as grades 3, 4, 6, and 7
Aluminum foil and trays
All types of lids
Items larger than 4 liters
These changes are designed to make recycling easier and more efficient for everyone, helping to reduce the wrong items ending up in recycling bins. Auckland Council highlights that despite the new guidelines, some non-recyclable items are still mistakenly placed in recycling bins, including food, textiles, nappies, and lithium-ion batteries.