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Rubbish and recycling FAQs

Why has my bin/crate not been collected?

There could be several reasons why your bin/crate hasn't been collected. These include not having them at the kerb on time; placing the wrong items in your bins/crate; having a bin that is overfull, or placing the bins/ crate too close together or behind an obstruction like a parked car or power pole.

Check out this list to make sure you have used your bin/crate correctly.

What happens if my wheelie bin/crate is missing, damaged or stolen?

Contact the Council as soon as possible if your bins/crate are missing, damaged, or stolen.

Each wheelie bin has a unique ID number, which can help the Council locate the bin's home if it is found at another location. It's also worth checking that a neighbour hasn't accidentally taken it by mistake.

Council can also help you if your bins /crate have been damaged.

My red rubbish bin doesn't seem to be big enough for my weekly waste. What can I do?

The 80 litre red rubbish bins are designed to encourage residents to correctly recycle as much recycling as possible, rather than putting it in the rubbish.

In the first instance, have a look at the things your household is ordinarily putting into the rubbish bin. Can any of these items actually go in recycling? It may also be worth checking out the useful tips 'ways to reduce your waste' on pages 22 to 25 of the Bin it Right Booklet.

If your rubbish bin is still not meeting your needs, the Council offers additional wheelie bins. These additional bins are charged to the user rather than through rates, so a tenant can pay for them rather than having to go through their landlord. Please note that these bins do not replace the bins and crate already provided through rates - they are an extra service.

The additional wheelie bins are available in three sizes; 80 litre, 120 litre and 240 litre. Visit or call the Council on 03 307 7700 to enquire about the prices for each, or;

Request additional bins online.

I have a lot of recycling. Can I get an extra recycling bin?

The Council offers additional 240 litre yellow recycling bins. These are charged to the user, rather than through rates. They are an additional service to the bins and crate already provided. Visit or call the Council on 03 307 7700 to enquire about the price of these bins or;

Request additional bins online.

How much does the kerbside collection service cost?

The cost of the collection is covered by your rates.

The old service required people to purchase ADC branded rubbish bags for collection. You no longer need to purchase these bags and they are not collected at the kerbside, however these bags are still available to buy so that you can dispose of rubbish for free at the Resource Recovery Parks. They are available at the Council office and at local supermarkets.

Do bins and crates have to be full to be collected?

No. Your bins and crate will be collected no matter how full they are. However, they cannot be overfull - lids must be closed flat for the bins to be collected.

Can I still buy ADC branded black rubbish bags?

ADC branded black rubbish bags can be purchased from the Resource Recovery Parks and Council office. These can then be dropped off for free at the Ashburton and Rakaia Resource Recovery Parks, but you don't need them for your red rubbish bin to be picked up.

How can I dispose of hazardous waste? 

Hazardous waste must not be put out with household rubbish. The best place to dispose of your hazardous waste is at your nearest Resource Recovery Park. You can also manage your hazardous waste by reducing its use wherever possible.

  • Use household items as a replacement for harsh chemicals. Baking soda and vinegar, for example make great cleaning products around the home.
  • Reduce waste by only buying as much as you need.
  • Buy environmentally-friendly products - look for the New Zealand Environmental Choice logo.
  • If you're shifting house, dispose of any hazardous materials safely at your nearest drop-off point. Don't leave it for the new owner.

I'm moving to a new house. Do I take my bins with me?

No. Wheelie bins are allocated to each property using a unique ID. They must stay at the correct property for new owners and tenants to use. If your new property is in the kerbside collection area, it will have its own bins and crate. If it doesn't, contact the Council.

Why can't I put all plastics in my yellow recycling bin?

The global markets that process low-grade mixed plastics have changed. In response, New Zealand's recycling centres have had to adapt and are now only accepting grades 1 (Polyethylene Terephthalate), 2, (High-density Polyethylene) and 5 (Polypropylene). For councils, this means only allowing hard plastics grades 1, 2 and 5 into the recycling bins for sorting. This change has affected councils and communities all across the country, including Mid Canterbury.

Why is my house not in the collection zone?

The collection zone is based on population density. Extending the collection zone to all of the district would be unsustainable with the resources we currently have available. District-wide collection is in Council's long-term 'zero-waste' vision.

Why is there no organic collection?

An organic waste collection is part of Council's long-term 'zero-waste' vision, but is currently not cost-effective for Council to introduce an organics collection. There are private companies that you can contact if you would like your garden waste collected. You can find these in the Yellow Pages under 'rubbish and recycling services'. You can also drop off garden waste at your nearest Resource Recovery Park, or the Methven Greenwaste Drop-off Facility.

Is there an inorganic collection for household items like appliances or furniture?

No. Items like these will not be collected from your kerbside. If you have household goods or furniture in good condition and working order that you no longer want, you are welcome to drop them off at the Resource Recovery Park reuse shops. Alternatively, there are also several local charities that would appreciate your donations, including:

  • The Salvation Army Family Store, Willis Street
  • Red Cross Shop, Burnett Street
  • St Vincent de Paul, Victoria Street
  • Save the Children, Ashburton
  • St Johns, Tancred Street
  • Hospice, Tancred Street

Please check what your chosen charity will accept before dropping your goods off.

Electronics are not designed to break down in landfill, and they can contain heavy metals - including lead, mercury and cadmium - that can be extremely toxic to the environment. If electronic appliances no longer work, consider getting them repaired or selling them to a second-hand agent who can repair and on-sell them. Some manufacturers also have a take-back scheme, so it's worth checking with them. Electronics can be dropped off at the resource recovery parks for free

I live down a long driveway. How can I get my bin to the kerb?

If your driveway is long or difficult to navigate with a wheelie bin, you can purchase an attachment that connects your bin to a towbar. This is called a 'bin hitch' and is available from Sulo Talbot.

I have mobility issues. Can I have help to shift my bins?

Yes. If you have mobility issues and you have no way to get the bins to the kerb, contact Council and we'll be able to help.

If you have any further questions about the new wheelie bin service, contact Council 03 307 7700, email or visit us in the Council office, 5 Baring Square West, Ashburton.