What happens to our rubbish and recycling


Rubbish from Hamilton goes to the landfills at Tirohia and Hampton Downs.


The products below are 100% recyclable and have another chance at life, so keep rescuing them please! Some recyclables come back in a very similar form, but others are made into something completely different. 

Plastics 1 (PETE) and 2 (HDPE)

Plastics 1 and 2 are baled and shipped overseas depending on buyer demand. If you recycle PETE plastic it can be made into new bottles for drinks, salad dressing or a household cleaning product. Many of the large beverage manufacturers now produce new PETE bottles with a large percentage of recycled PETE in them (in some cases they are completely recycled). PETE can also become fabric (polyester) for sports gear, fibrefill for coats, pillows and sleeping bags, upholstery fabric and carpet.

HDPE is made into tougher products like plastic timber, deck furniture, truck cargo liners, detergent containers, buckets, compost bins and recycling bins.

Tins and cans - aluminium and steel

Aluminium and steel cans are baled and shipped overseas to be remade into new cans or other products. Recycled aluminium has been made into furniture, bikes, BBQs, aircraft and even space shuttles. Recycled steel is made into aerosols, car bodies, furniture and a range of other products. 

Did you know?
Recycling aluminium to be made into new cans uses just 10% of the energy required to manufacture them from raw materials.

Using scrap steel (recycled cans) saves up to 75% of the energy needed to make steel from virgin materials, reduces air emissions by 86% and reduces water pollution by 76%.

Glass - green, clear, brown bottles and jars

Glass is 100% recyclable. It is sorted at kerbside then heads to O-I New Zealand in Auckland, New Zealand's only glass bottle and jar manufacturer. There it's placed in a furnace and remade into new bottles and jars. 

Did you know?
Glass that is not furnace quality is used in New Zealand in golf bunkers, under sporting turf, as a base course for roading, water filtration, agricultural mulch, concrete foundations, decorative paving stones and garden landscaping.

Paper and card

Recycling paper and cardboard is a mixture of onshore and offshore processing. Paper is usually made into new paper products and cardboard is made into packaging. 

Did you know?
It takes 786 million trees every year to produce the world's paper supply. Recycling paper uses about half the amount of energy and water needed to manufacture paper from virgin materials. One tree can make around 3077 pieces of A4 size paper. Paper is one of the quickest of all the materials to decompose; it takes around three weeks to three months to break down.