Where your recycling goes

Find out where your recycling goes and what happens to it at the processing plant.


Recycling collected from the kerbside (that is not contaminated with food residue) is taken to OJI in Seaview.

Once it has been sorted it is sent to the following places:

Glass

Glass is sent to VISY in Auckland, where it is further sorted for colour, and re-processed into new glass bottles and jars.

Watch this video to find out more about glass recycling in New Zealand:

Cans

Cans are sent to metal recyclers Macaulay Metals in Seaview, Lower Hutt.

Paper and cardboard

Paper and cardboard go to OJI Fibre, which then identifies markets for the product.

Plastics

  • Clear Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET 1), goes to Flights Plastics in Lower Hutt.
  • Naturally coloured High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE 2) like 'clear' milk bottles and detergent containers go to Palmerston North where it is washed and turned into re-processed pellets. The raw material is then turned into items such as wheelie bins.

What happens at the recycling plant?

OJI currently relies on mechanical processes, and people hand-sorting products on conveyor belts.

We worked with OJI to add an optical sorter to increase the plant’s capability. OJI successfully applied for funding from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund and the new sorter began operating in July 2021.

This video shows where your recycling goes, and what happens to it at the recycling plant. There are many different types of recycling plants in New Zealand, and this is an example of just one facility: