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What can I recycle in the Buller District?

What can be recycled and what can’t, can be confusing, and it’s a little bit more so in the Buller District as not all areas have kerbside collection.

Can I recycle this?

Let us start with a simple breakdown of the system. The Buller District is divided into refuse and recycling zones. Either residents will have kerbside collection of refuse and recycling (Zone one), or they will have access to transfer stations where recycling can be dropped off for free.

So let’s get started.

Zone one covers Westport, the areas from Westport to the Mōkihinui Bridge, Westport to Punakaiki, Westport to Reefton including Blacks Point, and Reefton to Ikamatua. Yellow bins are collected fortnightly. Glass is collected in glass recycling crates (fortnightly).

Zone two is the Karamea area, from north of the Mōkihinui Bridge. Recycling can be dropped off at the Karamea Resource Recovery Centre and Disposal Facility.

Zone three is beyond Blacks Point including Springs Junction and Maruia. Recycling can be dropped off at the Maruia Landfill and Recycling Facility on SH 65, 12km from Springs Junctions, where plastics #1, #2 and #5, cardboard, paper, aluminium tins and glass are accepted if rinsed, cleaned, checked, and separated.  

The Maruia Landfill and Recycling Facility has a recycling container that has six boxes, one for plastics, one for paper/cardboard, one for cans and three for each colour of glasses (clear, brown, green).

The container can be accessed during opening hours Thursdays between 1pm - 2.30pm.   

Read more about refuse and recycling zones

  • Clear plastics #1, #2 and #5 rinsed and lids off. Check the number on the container.
  • Glass jars and bottles (clean)
  • Clean aluminium and steel cans
  • Clean paper and cardboard bigger than an envelope.

  • Coloured plastics
  • Plastics # 3, # 4, # 6, # 7
  • Meat trays
  • Polystyrene
  • Soft plastics
  • Coffee cups
  • Plastic bags
  • Garden waste
  • Bubble wrap
  • Lids
  • Products with multiple components (for example Pringles containers).

Got this? Pretty easy stuff. There are a few things that are pretty important to make sure your recycling does not go into landfill.

Key things to make sure your recycling will be recycled

Plastics #1, #2 and #5 are only accepted presuming that they are thoroughly rinsed and clean.

Cardboard and paper provided they don’t have liquid residue or food contamination. It is important to note that till receipts cannot be recycled, they are made from material which is coated in chemicals.

Aluminium tins and steel cans are accepted although any food residue prevents them from being recycled. You need to rinse, clean, check. The same applies to glass.

Top things that can’t be recycled

There are a few common items that shouldn’t go into your recycling bin but are commonly found in recycling across New Zealand.

  • Paper cups
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Tissues
  • Till receipts
  • Juice cartons
  • Coffee cups and lids
  • Compostable bottles
  • Compostable packaging and cups.

This is a pretty good run down and should make sure you recycle right. If you want to know more, check your zone guidelines for details (and find out where your recycling goes).

There are some general guidelines what can go in the recycling. These apply to the Westport and Reefton Transfer stations where you can drop off your recycling.

If you are still unsure, or need a reminder in your kitchen, download one of our fun infographics so you can be a yellow bin expert and recycle right.

Recycling items such as old batteries, e-waste, glass, and even old cars (subject to guidelines – see below) can be dropped off at the Westport or Reefton Transfer station.

Mitre 10, EXPOL, Hilton Haulage and the Buller District Council have joined forces to deliver a polystyrene recycling project which enables Buller residents to prevent their waste polystyrene from going to landfill. 

There is a collection cube available in Mitre 10’s trade drive-through, where households can drop off small quantities of polystyrene, free of charge. 

Once collected, the polystyrene will be sent to Christchurch, where it will be recycled by EXPOL, a polystyrene manufacturer which incorporates recycled content into a number of its products. 

Polystyrene must meet the following criteria in order to be accepted: 

  • Each household can drop off up to 240 litres. 
  • Polystyrene must be clean. This means no dirt, food waste or residue, stickers or tape on the polystyrene. 

Read more about this exciting initiative here.

Agrecovery collection sites are available in both Westport and Reefton, for free drop-off of rinsed agrichemical containers up to 60L in size.Collection centres are based at Farmlands Westport, and the Reefton Transfer Station.

Opening hours:

  • Reefton Transfer Station: Tuesdays and Thursday to Sunday, 1pm-4pm
  • Farmlands Westport: Monday – Friday 8am-5pm. Saturday 9am – 12pm

Go to our Agrichemical container recycling page to find out more.

It is free to dispose of electronic waste in Buller for individuals and small businesses. E-waste is a broad term covering a wide range of products that are powered by electricity via cords or batteries - any electrical product that is unwanted or has reached the end of its useful life.

You can drop off your e-waste at the Westport or Reefton Transfer station during opening hours.

Fridges and freezers can also be disposed of for free. They are accepted at the Westport Transfer Station only.

Did you know? Research shows that Kiwis get their recycling right 85% of the time. Join the ‘get it right’ team and make sure your recycling doesn’t end up going to the dump.