Recycling wheelie bins and collection changes

Council is introducing wheelie bins for recycling and making changes to the collection service starting from 17 October. Get more information here. Please continue to use that existing collection service as usual until the changeover on 17 October.

All about the current residential kerbside recycling service

at the gate by eightCouncil contractors Nelmac collect the following materials for kerbside recycling:

  • Glass bottles/ jars
  • Plastics 1 - 7
  • Metal cans and tins
  • Paper
  • Light cardboard and corrugated cardboard

Collection is alternated each week - glass only is collected one week, the rest of your recycling will be collected the following week.

Tips - for preparing your recyclables

  • Tins and bottles should be washed and placed loose in bin for collection according to the calendar
  • Plastics should have visible symbols or numbers and be placed loose in bin
  • Flattened card and cardboard should be folded so that it fits comfortably in the recycling bin
  • Loose paper or cardboard can be placed in a plastic shopping bag in the bin to stop it getting blown away, but do not tie the top of the bag

What is NOT recyclable

Some items can't be recycled for a variety of reasons, either through the kerbside collection or the public drop-off bins.

  • Buckets, milk and bread crates, fish bins and other similar items
  • Oil and fuel containers or any other dangerous goods containers
  • Bulky car parts, outdoor furniture items, plumbing or agriculture pipe and fittings, electrical conduit and fittings
  • All polystyrene based items such as meat trays, disposable drink cups, takeaway food clamshell containers and packaging materials
  • Clear plastic film such as food wrap
  • Plastic with cloth material, rubber or metal attached
  • Plastic shopping bags

For health and safety reasons, plastic items containing or contaminated with liquids (other than rinse water), blood, juice, food, etc, will not be accepted for recycling.

When and where

Wash, squash and place at the kerbside outside your property by 8.00am on the same day as the blue Nelmac bags are collected.

Recycling bins – use and replacement

To encourage recycling when the scheme first got underway, every household was given a recycling bin. It is the responsibility of the householder to care for their bin. Write your house number on the bin to avoid confusion with other bins. Replacement or additional bins may be purchased for $18.50 (small) and $20.00 (large) from Nelson City Council's customer service centre or Nelmac at 2 Bullen Street, Tahunanui.

Alternate week collection schedule

Glass only will be collected one week, and the rest of your recycling will be collected the next week.  Download the calendar and put it on your fridge or other prominent place. If the wrong material is put out, it won't be collected and a sticker will be placed on your Blue Bin to remind you of the collection calendar.

Hard copies of the Nelson recyling calendar will be delivered to Nelson addresses during January of the new year.

What needs to be put in bags within the blue bin

Only paper and flattened cardboard - this is to stop it blowing away,and getting wet. All other materials can be washed and squashed and placed in your bin. Please remember that the recyclables are collected by real people, not machines. Contaminated items can cause health and safety problems and also have the potential to ruin an entire run of a particular item.

If there is too much recycling for one bin

Replacement or extra bins can be purchased for $18.50 (small) and $20.00 (large) each from NELMAC at 2 Bullen Street, Tahunanui (off Parkers Road). Follow our handy guide to preparing your recyclables for pickup.

Commercial recyling

Find out more about commercial recyling

Recycling at events

Recycling at public events is easy and provides an opportunity to educate Nelson households on how to recycle. A great deal of help is available to event organisers, who can also find commercial benefits in being able to advertise that they recycle at their event. Find out more with our recycling guide for events.

Recycling on farms

For more information visit the Waste Education Services website and check out the Waste Service Providers.

Rubbish that can't be recycled

If you put out rubbish that can't be recycled, it will be left on the kerbside with a sticker explaining why it can't be accepted. Please make sure you retrieve and dispose of your unaccepted items. 

Nelson Recycling Centre Resale Shop

Clothing, toys, and re-useable individual items may be accepted for resale at the Nelson Recycling Centre shop on Pascoe Street.

Items that are unsuitable for resale may be rejected.

Telephone +64 3 548 5601.

Used engine oil

Non-commercial used engine oil can be dropped off at the Transfer Station at no charge, providing the oil has not been contaminated with other products. Please see the Transfer Station attendant.

Maximum container size 20 litres. Over-filled containers are not accepted.

Telephone +64 3 548 5760.

Safe disposal of energy-saving light bulbs, batteries and hazardous waste

Energy-saving light bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent lamps because they contain a small amount of mercury. Mercury is toxic to human health and harmful to the environment (the small amount of mercury in one bulb is not a hazard to users).Learn how to dispose of energy-saving light bulbs and batteries properly and safely.

Other outlets

A great range of second hand dealers are listed in the Yellow Pages. They include outlets for appliances, musical instruments, furniture, garden tools, house parts and building supplies. The Nelson Mail under $100 free ads, and the Buy Sell Swap paper are other ways to recycle.

In Nelson there are also several collection bins run by charities that accept clothing, sheets, towels, books and toys.

The Sunday Market runs from 8am - 1pm in Montgomery Square and includes the sale of secondhand clothing, music, books and appliances.

Garage sales are advertised in local papers and with roadside signs.

Waste reduction in schools and businesses

Waste Education Services is contracted by Council to advise schools and businesses on how to minimise waste. Visit their website for a comprehensive list of options for recycling waste or go here for information on Council waste education activities.

Recycling of e-waste

E-waste recycling is now available through Nelson Environment Centre. Visit for more information.

For drop-off and pick up arrangements, contact:
Nelson Environment Centre
Phone:03 545 9176