Rubbish and Recycling

Community recycle centre Rawene

Waste Management and Minimisation

We are committed to a Waste Management and Minimisation Plan that expects us to waste nothing of value or use while working towards zero waste and we are guided by the Solid Waste Bylaw 2016. 

The Far North District Council is committed to managing and minimising solid waste and protecting the environment by reducing the use of landfills for waste disposal in our District in accordance with the Waste Minimisation Act 2008. As required by the Act, we have reviewed our Waste Management and Minimisation Plan to ensure we continue to work towards our solid waste targets.

What can I recycle?

Free recycling

It is free to recycle the following at Council refuse transfer stations and community recycling centres.

  • Aluminium/tin cans.
    Please rinse cans. No foil food containers.
  • Plastics numbered 1.
    Clear and coloured bottles, clean clear meat trays. Note these must have the number 1 recycling symbol.
  • Plastics numbered 2.
    Milk and cream bottles (including Anchor products), and opaque, non-coloured cleaning product containers. 

The number identifying the plastic is normally found on the bottom of the bottle or container. All other plastics should be included in household rubbish.  

  • Cardboard and paper.
    Flatten cardboard, no tetrapaks, no plastic or wax coated cardboard
  • Glass bottles and jars.
    Please separate colours Brown, Green, Clear NOTE: window, frosted, crystal or reinforced glass not accepted.
  • Waste oil 
  • Whiteware and scrap metal
    Refuse transfer stations and Landfill sites ONLY
  • Wet cell and dry cell batteries



Council subsidises the recycling of eWaste because it contains heavy metals and other toxic materials that we want to keep out of our environment. Charges at refuse transfer stations are as follows:

  • TV’s CRT $10.00
  • TV’s Flat Screen $10.00
  • Computer CRT $10.00
  • Monitors LCD $5.00
  • PC’s 
  • Desktop/laptop/Server $5.00 each
  • UPS’s $5.00
  • Laptop Batteries $5.00
  • Network Equipment $5.00


Greenwaste is accepted at some transfer stations at a cost of $22 per cubic metre

Refer to the information sheet about transfer stations to see which accept green waste. Note that the branch diameter must be 75mm or less. Vegetation that is not accepted includes flax, toi toi, bamboo, pampas grass, phoenix palm or cabbage tree.


Tyres are accepted for recycling at a cost depending on their size (see fees and charges). Whole tyres cannot be accepted as rubbish because they are unsuitable for landfill. Charges at refuse transfer stations are as follows (cost per tyre):

  • Motorcycle tyre $3.50
  • Passenger car tyres $5.00
  • Light truck and 4x4 tyres $8.00
  • Truck tyres $16.00
  • Tractor and super single $23.00

Earth mover tyres not accepted.

Business / Commercial recycling

Council encourages all businesses to minimise waste to landfill by recycling and recovery. 

Agricultural Plastic Recycling

For more information view the Agricultural Plastic Recycling scheme run by Plasback.

Refuse Transfer Stations

There are 16 refuse/recycling transfer stations in the Far North run by Council, and 13 community recycling centres (one of which is seasonal). Find a link to information about these under Related Information. Most recyclables are accepted at no cost at Council facilities.

Opening hours and locations

You can download information about operating hours(PDF, 53KB) for refuse transfer stations and community recycling centres. There is a now a Waipapa Refuse Transfer Station (opened December 2018).

  • Refuse Transfer Stations are closed on:
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Anzac Day (closed morning only - open from 1.00pm)

Holiday season refuse and recycling

Additional recycling centres are set up in selected areas of the Bay of Islands over the summer holiday season. These accept recycling at no charge. Prepaid Waste Management rubbish bags can also be left here. The on-going provision of these services depends on users respecting the facilities by ensuring they use the pre-paid bags for rubbish. Refer to the transfer station information sheet for opening hours, dates and locations.

Accepted waste

Transfer stations accept general household and commercial waste. Some sites accept bagged rubbish only, larger sites accept both bagged and bulk rubbish; see transfer station information sheet for details. Customers are expected to unload their own rubbish into the bins provided as well as sort their recycling appropriately.

Prohibited waste

  • Infectious medical wastes
  • Dust prone materials
  • Liquids, chemicals and sludges
  • Dead animals
  • Asbestos
  • Fuel tanks (empty or otherwise)
  • Hazardous waste (other than minor household hazardous wastes)
  • Explosive and radioactive material
  • Commercial air-conditioning or refrigeration units

Household hazardous waste

Household hazardous waste (up to 5 litres) is accepted at many transfer stations. Used lubricating oil, paints, agricultural chemicals, animal remedies, pool chemicals and batteries (automotive and household) are all classed as hazardous waste as they are hazardous to the environment. Refer to the refuse Transfer station information sheet for details. For quantities more than 5 litres and commercial, contact the Northland Regional Council.


What are the fees for using the transfer stations for dumping rubbish?

  • Per bag (standard 65L) $3.00
  • Oversized Bag (130L) $6.00
  • Wheelie Bin (240L) $11.00
  • Loose Material per m3 $46.00
  • Compacted and heavy material per m3 $74.50
  • Green waste m3 $22.00

Refer also to our Fees and Charges(PDF, 267KB).

Kerbside rubbish and recycling collection

Kerbside rubbish and recycling collection is available to many Far North residents provided by two privately operated companies:

Northland Waste

Kaitaia 09 408 2594

Kerikeri 09 438 0802  

Waste Management

09 401 7274

0800 492 783

What services are provided?

The companies decide what level of service they provide, what areas are serviced, how much is charged and what they will collect for recycling.

  • Northland Waste offers kerbside rubbish and recycling services in the northern part of the district.
  • Both Northland Waste and Waste Management offer kerbside rubbish services in some areas of the of the southern part of the district.
  • Only Waste Management offers kerbside recycling in the southern part of the district.

Who will collect my recycling?

Where services for northern and southern areas overlap, residents will need to contact Northland Waste and Waste Management directly to clarify which recycling services they can use.

  • Collections are user pays. The collection and disposal fee is included in the price of the pre-paid rubbish bag, stickers and tags for the recycling bins.
  • What bags do I buy? Waste collectors have different coloured bags, stickers or recycling tags. You can buy these from your local supermarket, petrol station or dairy. Contact either Northland Waste or Waste Management for more details.
  • When is my collection? There are weekly, kerbside collections of prepaid rubbish bags and recycling bins in towns and main centres.
  • Monday: Ahipara, Waipapakauri Beach, Paparore Kaimaumau, Waiharara, Russell, Rawhiti.
  • Tuesday: Taupo Bay (fortnightly), Mangonui, Hihi, Cable Bay, Coopers Beach, Taipa, Totara North, Paihia, Opua, Kawakawa, Moerewa, Ohaeawai, Waitangi.
  • Wednesday: Whatuwhiwhi, Mangamuka, Broadwood, Panguru, Kohukohu, Pampuria, Awanui, Herekino, Kaikohe, Ngawha Springs, Okaihau.
  • Thursday: Kaitaia Te Hapua, Kerikeri.
  • Friday: Waipapa, Te Tii, Opito Bay, Skudders Beach. Contact either Northland Waste or Waste Management for more information.
  • What time should I put my rubbish out? Rubbish should go out after 12 noon the day before your collection and before 7am on collection day.
  • Pre-paid rubbish bags can only be left outside your own property or at an approved collection point. See approved collection points for locations. The list of collection points attached refers to the intersection of the two streets listed.
  • Rural pre-paid collections: Some rural residents need to leave pre-paid bags at approved collection points because the waste collectors don’t collect from their road.
  • The maximum weight of pre-paid bags is 10kg. Rubbish bags should not contain more than 20% recyclables, 20% food waste and no greenwaste (unless they are listed pest plants).

Frequently asked questions

Why do I pay for rubbish at council transfer stations?

Rubbish disposal is user pays so that people who generate most rubbish pay the most. Over the holiday season, the Far North’s rubbish volume almost doubles for three months. User pays means visitors pay their fair share for rubbish disposal.

I live in a rural area - how do I get my rubbish collected?

Kerbside collections don’t cover all rural roads. If the waste company doesn’t pick up from outside your property you can put your bag at the nearest approved collection point  – often at road intersections or lay-bys. These are marked by collection point signs.

Where do I take my recycling?

You can find your nearest transfer station here (PDF). Council is working on expanding the network of refuse transfer stations and community recycling centres so the majority of residents will be within a 15 minute drive from a recycling centre.

Do I pay for recycling?

No, there is no charge for recycling plastics numbered 1 and 2. The number identifying the plastic is normally found on the bottom of the bottle or container. All other plastics should be included in household rubbish. Media release: Council stations to stop recycling some plastics.

Why does it cost extra to leave a prepaid rubbish bag at a transfer station?

Prices for rubbish bags at transfer stations are set by Council at $3 per bag. This charge goes toward waste disposal at landfill, processing of recycling, staffing and maintenance of the transfer station. The money from prepaid bags goes to the waste company, not to Council.

Why are kerbside rubbish bags cheaper than transfer station rubbish bags?

The kerbside rubbish and recycling collections in the Far North District are a user pays service provided by waste companies who decide what they will charge for the collection. This cost doesn’t include a free recycling service or the staffing and maintenance of transfer stations so they are cheaper.

What are the fees for using the transfer stations for dumping rubbish?

  • Per bag (standard 65L) $3.00
  • Oversized bag (130L) $6.00
  • Wheelie bin (240L) $11.00
  • Loose material per m3 $46.00
  • Compacted and heavy material per m3 $74.50
  • Green waste m3 $22.00