Make the most of waste by the Auckland Council

Recycling contamination costs

Learn how to recycle right

Published: Tuesday 9 June 2020

Wishcycling – chucking something in the recycling bin and hoping it will be recycled – is a bigger problem than most people realise.

However, chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee Richard Hills knows that people want to do the right thing.

“80 per cent of Aucklanders surveyed told us that they believe that the responsibility for the environment lies with all of us.

“Right now Tāmaki Makaurau is in a better position than most other regions because we kept up our kerbside services throughout the lockdown. Even with the COVID-19 market disruptions, we are still recycling 96 per cent of materials including steel, glass, paper and most plastics.

“We can still do better. A little extra effort goes a long way and there are significant environmental and financial benefits for us if we improve the quality of our recycling.”

Contaminated recycling cost Aucklanders $420,000 last financial year. If Aucklanders reduced kerbside recycling contamination by just one per cent, we would save $116,000. These are the extra costs involved in having to handle, sort, and dispose of materials that households wrongly put in their recycling bin. When contamination exceeds 12 per cent (last FY it was 12.4 per cent), we pay a penalty to the processors for the additional work involved in disposing of this rubbish.

To find out if you are recycling right, you can play Auckland Council’s online game, use the Binny chat app, or search by material with this Auckland Council search tool.

For the full media release, visit Our Auckland