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Rotorua’s new rubbish and recycling service starts today

31 October 2016


Your top rubbish and recycling service questions answered

Rotorua’s new rubbish and recycling service starts today.

Smart Environmental Limited will be driving the streets emptying the first lot of wheelie bins in Western Heights, Pukehangi and some Lakes areas.

In town one truck will empty your rubbish bin and another will come by to empty your recycling bin and crate. Trucks being used in the lakes areas are able to do it all – these are called tri-combis.

With such a significant change it may take some time for everyone to get used to a different way of doing things. Answered here are the top questions you’ve been asking about the new service:

I don’t have my bins yet –when will I get them?

Smart Environmental is delivering the last small group of bins during the next two days. This last group includes replacements for bins that were damaged, bins for people who opted into the service during the delivery period and bins for properties that did not have pay rates charges for rubbish previously.

If you still haven’t received your set of bins by Wednesday 2 November please phone council on 0800 020 001 and a Customer Advisor will help you.

Where can I find out what day my rubbish and recycling is collected?

There is a map on council’s website that shows the days for rubbish and recycling collection in each suburb. Visit and click “When is my collection day?” at the top of the page.

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If you’re still not sure give a Customer Advisor a call on council’s hotline 0800 020 001

My bin says Week 1 or Week 2 – what does this mean?

Rubbish (red lidded bin) will be collected every week. Recycling (yellow lidded bin and blue crate) will be collected fortnightly.

Your bins will have a sticker on the side which says “Week 1” or “Week 2”. These are the weeks that you put your yellow lidded bin and blue crate out for emptying.

Look at pages 10 and 11 in the booklet that came with your bins:

- If your sticker says “Week 1” then you put out your yellow bins in the weeks that
are RED on the calendar.
- If your sticker says “Week 2” you put out your yellow bins in the weeks that are
GREEN on the calendar.

If you need a new copy of the rubbish and recycling booklet call council on 0800 020 001 to get a new one.

What can I put in my bins?

General household rubbish goes in your bin with the red lid. Recycling such as cardboard, paper, plastic bottles and containers goes in your bin with the yellow lid. Glass goes in the blue crate.

Polystyrene and “soft plastic” such as plastic film and shopping bags, glad wrap and bubble wrap must go in your red bin.

Find out more about what goes in each bin at

Can I bag my rubbish up before it goes in my bin?

Yes. You can place your rubbish in plastic/paper bags before you place it in your red bin if you wish.

You can leave your recyclable items loose but make sure you wash them before you put them in and if you also squash them you’ll fit more in so remember – wash and squash.

I use more than two paper bags a week – how will I fit all my rubbish in the smaller red bin?

The aim of the new rubbish and recycling services is to encourage more residents to recycle. A whopping 40% of waste that was going to landfill in the paper bags was recyclable so we’re making it easy to do that by giving you bins. It’s expected that if you separate your waste into general rubbish and recycling, the bins should be big enough and we encourage you to give the new system a go.

If you later find the red bin isn’t big enough for your needs, there will be an option to upgrade to a bigger bin. This will be offered soon – at the moment council and its new contractor Smart Environmental are focussed on rolling out the new service.

If you aim to recycle more of your household waste you will have less rubbish to put in your red bin. Make sure youWASH and SQUASH your recycling.

What if my bins haven’t been emptied by the afternoon?

Smart Environmental has employed local people to drive its trucks and they may take longer to cover areas while they are still learning the routes.

If you have any concerns call the council hotline on 0800 020 001.

Why are we getting new services?

Rotorua Lakes Council introduced the new services as a part of a review of the district’s waste strategy. The new strategy was approved by Council earlier this year as part of the 2015-2025 Long-term Plan.

The purpose of the new service is to offer the community a more efficient and modern service that encourages more recycling.

There are a number of things council aims to achieve by introducing the new service:

• Increase the amount of recycling by making it easy to sort your waste and meet community demand for kerbside recycling. An immediate, significant increase in recycling is expected.

• Reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill and associated environmental risks.

• Reduce the cost of services – this new service will provide an initial annual saving of approximately $500,000 compared with the current council-run service. Rotorua is one of the few districts still using paper bags so the cost of buying those has increased.

• Reduce health and safety risks and injury rates associated with the current, largely manual collection service.

If you have any questions or want to know more call a Customer Advisor on 0800 020 001 or

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