Rubbish and Recycling

Community recycle centre Rawene

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). Most recyclables are accepted free of charge at Council facilities. Find out more in the links below. 

Opening hours and locations

You can download information about operating hours(PDF, 153KB) for refuse transfer stations and community recycling centres.

  • Refuse Transfer Stations are closed on:
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Anzac Day (closed morning only - open from 1pm)

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 at these centres. The on-going provision of these services depends on users respecting the facilities by ensuring they use pre-paid bags for rubbish. Refer to the transfer station information sheet for opening hours, dates and locations.

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 Stations information sheet below for details. For quantities more than 5 litres and commercial hazardous waste, 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, 292KB).

Kerbside rubbish

Kerbside waste collections are run by two companies - Northland Waste and Waste Management. For blue prepaid bag collections contact Waste Management, and for yellow or green prepaid bag collections contact Northland Waste.

Northland Waste

Kaitaia 09 408 2594

Kerikeri 09 438 0802  

Waste Management

09 401 7274

0800 492 783

 FAQ’s: COVID-19

Note: COVID-19 Level three restrictions are effective from 11:59pm, Monday 27 April.

What do I do with my rubbish if someone at home has COVID-19?

Double bag any rubbish in plastic bags, seal the plastic bag by tying it off, then wash your hands thoroughly. Store your double-bagged rubbish for at least 72 hours before taking it to a refuse transfer station or putting out on the kerbside for collection.

Why is Council not collecting recycling?

The recycling system used in the Far North is labour intensive, because recycling is collected in crates then sorted by hand. Some large cities collect recycling in wheelie bins that are picked up by a robotic arm operated by the driver from the truck’s cab. It is then taken to an automated sorting facility where there is no direct human involvement. This automated system is safer in the current COVID-19 climate, but still, some large city Councils have sent this material to landfill because many automated sorting facilities have closed.

Under normal circumstances, the Far North's recycling system is great for providing clean, quality recycling, and employs a large number of people from our communities to hand sort material.

Why can supermarkets sell plastics but Council can’t recycle them?

A major difference between the plastics delivered to a supermarket versus a refuse transfer station is the material delivered to a supermarket is clean. Much of the supermarket material has been prepared and packaged without being in contact with humans until it is placed on the shelf.

Produce and meat is an exception, but still, it is being prepared in controlled environments by trained workers. By contrast, recycling comes from unregulated households where many residents are likely to give little thought to whether they have coughed or sneezed on a piece of material before throwing it away.

Plastics and aluminium cans are likely to have saliva residue on them, which can be spread during the manual sorting  process at refuse transfer stations. This is an unnecessary risk to our recycling workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, as recycling can be safely cleaned at stored at your home or place of residence.  If you do not have space to store recycling, put it in with your rubbish.