At Wastebusters, we are passionate about real recycling – producing clean, uncontaminated recycling which can be made into high quality products. We sort our recycling by hand, so there is minimal contamination going into the bales of material we send away to be reprocessed.
The ideal is to recycle the material back into the same product – “closed loop recycling”. One example is that we colour sort all our glass so that it can be recycled back into new bottles.
You can drop your recycling into our sites at Alexandra and Wanaka 9am-5pm, seven days a week. We also pick up from Central Otago businesses, call us if you’d like to start business recycling.
Many of the items we recycle have the potential to contaminate our beautiful land and clean water if they are put in a landfill. Plus recycling reclaims resources which would otherwise have gone to landfill, saving energy, land from mining, water and space in landfills.
Here is the full list of things you can drop off to us for recycling (* = hazardous waste which can create toxic leachate if put in a landfill). Some charges apply to cover the cost of handling, sorting, dismantling, tranporting and reprocessing materials:
We can recycle anything that you put in your kerbside recycling bin: paper, cardboard, glass, hard plastic containers (1-7), steel and aluminium cans. We charge just $2 for a recycling bin (up to 60 litres). Please wash dirty containers first.
We recycle clean, white polystyrene with stickers removed (no polystyrene meat-trays please as they are contaminated with blood). The main difficulty in recycling polystyrene is that it is bulky and expensive to transport. We crush it in a special baler which doubles its density before sending it to Christchurch to be made into insulation.
We recycle all batteries including rechargeable batteries (eg tool, cellphone and car batteries). Some batteries contain toxic heavy metals like nickel cadmium and lead, others are a fire risk if pierced so they shouldn’t be put in the landfill where there is heavy machinery driving about on top of them. When batteries are recycled, metals such as cobalt and lead can be recovered and reused. There is a charge of $4.50 per kilo to recycle batteries, except for lead-acid car batteries which are free because they contain more valuable materials inside them to offset the recycling costs.
Used Engine Oil *
You can recycle used engine oil from cars, trucks, mowers, chainsaws etc. There is a handling cost of 50 cents per litre, (25 cents per litre for more than 100 litres). Please make sure they are in a water-tight container with a lid – the container that the new oil comes in works well.
Vegetable Oil *
If you are a fan of deep-frying, then don’t stick your crusty oil down the drain. We recycle used vegetable oil, and we collect deep-frying oil from restaurants and take-aways.
We recycle cellphones for free. Cellphones and their batteries contain heavy metals and brominated flame retardant plastic which may cause toxic leachate if they go to landfill. Every smartphone contains precious materials including gold, silver, copper, platinum and palladium, so throwing them in the landfill is a real waste!
Computer Recycling *
Yes, Wastebusters accepts computers, printers, TV’s, faxes, cell-phones and computer accessories (keyboards, mice, routers etc) for recycling. There are different charges to cover the costs of responsible recycling depending on the weight and value of materials inside the item, see the list of prices here.
The scrap metal market is currently in a dive, which is putting all scrap metal recycling under a lot of financial pressure. Have a chat to our yard staff and they will talk you through the best options for metals recycling.
We are not taking any large household appliances (ovens, driers, fridges, washing machines, heat pumps, dehumidifiers etc) for recycling. This is due to the high cost of dismantling them, and the lack of valuable materials which we can retrieve from them to off-set the recycling cost. However you can make sure they are recycled by taking them up to the transfer station, where they will be kept in a separate pile with other metals to be picked up by the scrap metal collectors and recycled. This will cost you $15, which is a much cheaper service than we could offer for the same result.
We can take smaller appliances with a high percentage of metal for recycling, for a small charge. This includes fin heaters ($5), microwaves ($5) and steel hot water cylinders ($10). We can also recycle metal including window surrounds, garage doors, chimney flues and other random metal bits.
Modern appliances which are mostly made of plastic can’t be recycled, including some heaters, stereos and coffee machines.
We recycle eco-bulbs for a donation to help cover costs. Some eco-bulbs contain mercury, so you don’t want them to end up in the landfill. During the recycling process, the tubes are crushed, elements separated and mercury is recovered. Aluminium and glass is also recycled in the process.
Ink Cartridges *
We work with Cartridge World to recycle printer cartridges. Drop in your used printer cartridges to the yard, and we send them off to be refilled and reused. Any obsolete or broken cartridges are recycled.
Clean plastic wrap marked with a number 4 can be recycled (eg the plastic wrap around rolls of toilet paper). The wrap should have a slight stretch in it when pulled.
Glass Bottles for Reuse
We collect refillable glass bottles which can be washed and reused: Green Man, Emersons and Speights/ABC swappa-crate. Keep them separate when you drop off your recycling, and we’ll make sure they go round again for another cheery, beery life.
Wastebusters doesn’t recycle household soft plastics.