Where does my recycling go?

All Waipā’s mixed recycling is hand-sorted by a team of hardworking locals at the Waipā Recycling Sorting Centre in Te Awamutu. Metallic Sweeping is the Council’s recycling contractor, and they employ around 16 fulltime staff.

Ever wondered where your recycling goes?

Glass bottles and jars are held onsite until there is enough to make it cost efficient to transport them to O-I Glass in Auckland. They are New Zealand's only glass bottle and jar manufacturer and have been operating since 1922.

The Waipā Recycling Sorting Centre processes all the contents of the yellow mixed recycling wheelie bins into clean, single material bales to be on sold.

Everything that’s collected from your yellow bin is hand sorted into a really large container for just one type of item (e.g. paper or plastic #1). Once those are large containers are full, they’re compacted and made into bales that weigh several hundred kilograms.

Once we have enough of these single material bales, they are shipped to various places around the country to continue their journey to be made into something new. For example, most #1 plastics in New Zealand head to Flight Plastics in Upper Hutt to be made into new recycled PET containers for things like cherry tomatoes.

At certain times of the year, we send our cardboard directly to the Hawke's Bay to be made into apple trays.

The recycling market is always changing and in order for us to find a market to sell it to, our community needs to make sure their recycling is clean before recycling day.

The Waipā Recycling Sorting Centre is a working waste site and isn’t open for the public to drop off their recycling. 

However, the Waipā Waste Minimisation team can run education tours of the site. If you are interested, please email your details and group numbers to: waste.min@waipa.govt.nz.