Yellow Bin Christchurch What Can You Put In It ??

Did You Miss Your Yellow Bin Collection ??

So you  forgot to put your yellow bin out or the ccc wont pick it up because you put the wrong stuff in it.

What is a yellow bin in Christchurch city for? Simply, this is for the recyclables coming from homes and other waste generators. In New Zealand, we have a very active waste collection and segregation system but the rules involved are somewhat strict. Unlike in other countries where waste management is a not priority, our government & councils are handling their waste segregation procedures very carefully especially in the city of Christchurch where each household is given three colored bins to make segregation of waste at source to work.

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what kinds of waste should be dumped into the colored bins - green, red and yellow bins?

The green-colored bin represents the standard color, which as an international rule, is for biodegradable waste. But in Christchurch, the green bin is strictly for the compostable (green) waste only which means only the waste that can be composted can be dumped into the green bin. Examples of these waste are food leftover, kitchen (fruit and vegetable trimmings) and garden waste. These waste can easily degrade in days without causing harm to the environment. So it is therefore important that the waste that are for the green bins should not be contaminated by any material laced with toxic substances. 

The red bin, on the other hand, is for non-bio and non-recyclable waste. So for the biodegradable waste that should not be in the green bin, these should go into the red bin as residual waste. Residual waste is dumped into landfills. 


What should we put into the yellow bin in Christchurch then?    

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What Can Go in the Yellow Bin?

A yellow bin in Christchurch city is mainly for recyclables only. It is the biggest among the 3 colored bins while the green bin is the smallest for the reason that biodegradable waste is getting picked up by the CCC council’s truck once a week while the red and yellow bin collection in Christchurch happens every two weeks. Now, why the yellow recycling bin in Christchurch is the largest is because most of the recyclables that people dump in there are larger but not necessarily heavier. What are these waste?  

removal of junk
removal of junk
removal of junk

Things From Households That Are for the Yellow Bin:

  • Clean plastic bottles and containers numbers 1,2 and 5 but the lids should be in the red bin. 
  • Clean milk bottles that are not the over 3-liter size.
  • Clean family-sized yogurt and ice cream containers that are not over the 3-liter size. 
  • Metals: all tin cans, aluminum cans, aerosol cans like air-freshener and deodorant cans but lids must be in the red bin.
  • Clean glass: whole or broken clear and coloured glass or jars.
  • Clean cardboard, newspapers, flattened cardboard boxes, standard size envelopes (smaller are not allowed), magazines and brochures. 
  • Clean empty cleaning containers numbers 1,2 and 5 but the lid must be in the red bin.


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You may have noticed that the yellow bin for recycling requires that every recyclable waste must be cleaned before they are to be dumped in. This is a requirement by the council to avoid contamination within the content of the bin. So if you follow the cleaning requirement and dumping your clean plastic containers in your yellow bin but a member of your family has dumped some soiled and wet newspaper on the top layer, the content of your yellow bin may get contaminated and will not be fully accepted as recyclables by the council’s waste checkers.


In this scenario, you might get reprimanded for violating the proper use of the yellow bin. Therefore, you and your family must be properly informed about the cleaning of the recyclables before dumping them into the yellow bin as well as putting only the right stuff.

yellow bin recycling

What You Need To Know About Your Yellow Bin

There is something you may have noticed with your bins and these are the colored stickers that are stuck on their sides. If you have seen the yellow sticker on a bin, that sticker could be an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag that helps people in the CCC waste management office to manage your yellow bin through their database management system. There are benefits that you and the council can achieve from this yellow tag and some of them are as follows:


  • The RFID can provide information to the CCC management team if the bin you are using is under your name or not, has the right address, or is fully registered. 


  • If the bin has been misplaced, lost or swapped, the management team can also track the exact location of your bin.


  • If you have some violations with regards to the use of your bin as reported by the drivers of the collection trucks, the RFID will help the personnel at the waste management station to identify your violations and will inform you about this if ever you inquire on why your bin has not  been emptied.


  • In some communities, not only the RFID tags are installed in every bin but also some stickers like a yellow sticker on the bin to tell the collection drivers if your bin has already been checked by the waste management auditing team. You can also see serial numbers on some bins and these numbers correspond to the details of the persons who are assigned to the bin.
yellow bin christchurch

So the next time you see the yellow sticker on a bin, you know now the purpose of this tag. Waste checkers may also visit communities and check people’s bins and mark them with chalk. Frankly, only the waste collection truck drivers understand these marks but if everything goes smooth with your bins, there is nothing to worry about as long as you don’t get tags with warnings.

why has my bin not been emptied
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Issues About Waste Pickup

The question now is, what can happen when the council’s waste checkers or waste pickup personnel see that you have not followed the protocol in using your yellow bin? You know something is wrong with the content of your yellow bin if it has been left out by the truck during the pickup time. So you may ask yourself “why has my bin not been emptied?” Here are some explanations that can help you understand. 


If you see that your yellow bin has been emptied but there’s a tag on the handle which the CCC personnel had put on, that tag contains some reminders for you to read on and consider.  If you see that the tag has a checklist of your misuse of your yellow bin, this informs you that you have violated the rules in dumping your recyclables. For the first and second offenses, your bin’s content will still get picked up. But if for the third time and you still did some violations, the pickup truck may confiscate your yellow bin because you did not follow the proper yellow bin recycling guidelines despite the warnings.  

Again, what would you do whenever your bin is tagged? In most cases, the council’s waste pickup personnel will leave you some pamphlets in your letterbox  for you to read and be informed. So you are expected to understand and follow the proper way of disposing of recyclables and avoid the consequence of bin confiscation.  

There are also many reasons why the council’s pickup trucks usually leave the bins untouched with their contents. And as a team of rubbish pickup professionals in Christchurch city, here are some of the reasons we’ve found. 

Why Has My Bin Not Been Emptied?

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  •  Most trucks only collect waste from 6 am to 5 pm. So if you take out your bin late during the pickup schedule, you may find it still untouched in the morning. 
  • You have put the wrong items in your yellow bin. If the driver checked your bin’s content and you have the wrong stuff, your yellow bin may not be emptied. 
  • The lids of your bins are not completely closed due to overloading. The yellow bin for recycling, though is the biggest among the colored bins, should not be overfilled or with long objects. 
  • As the collection truck comes, the bin’s RFID is already sending data into the truck or in the management office. So if the bin with waste is placed in front of your house but was not registered in your name, this will not be picked up by the truck. 
  • Your bin is too heavy for the truck to pick up and dump into the truck. Remember that a yellow bin in Christchurch lets people dump many types of metals into it. However, if this gets heavier than 70kg usually because of other junk, the mechanical arm of the dump truck won’t be able to lift it and your bin may be abandoned.
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  • Your bins should be placed about 50cm apart so that the mechanical arm has enough space to take each bin up and place it back on the ground. If you placed your bins very near to each other, the waste collection truck may pass them over and your bins will be left out. 


  • Yellow bin collection in Christchurch is not simply a pick-and-go process. There are people from the council’s waste management team who go around the neighborhood checking on your bins that await the pickup collection. So if your recyclables were seen to be contaminated, your bin will be tagged as unfit for recycling. In this manner, once the driver of the truck has been informed, your yellow bin may also be left out.  


  • Bins were placed with obstructions. Since the truck has to be in a proper distance and position for its mechanical arm to pick and dump your bin into the truck, if your bins were placed behind or very near an obstruction, your bins will also be abandoned by the truck.  


  • Lastly, usually in every community in Christchurch, there are dates and the time for the waste for council’s pickup. So if you fail to take out your bin right on time, you have to wait for the next pickup date or you can consider other options which we will discuss below.
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What Should You Do if Your Waste Was Left Out During Collection?

For your first option, you could call and ask the personnel at the council’s office and ask them the question “why has my bin not been emptied?

If you have any of the violations mentioned above, you will be informed about this. But if you did a good job and still your bin has been left out, the council may send one of its trucks to pick your waste. However, if  they tell you to wait for another pickup date and you can’t wait that long, then it’s time to call for a backup. We, as a private waste pick group, can do the hauling and disposing of your waste with very minimal charges and we can be there on the next day.  

For the second option, you can take your waste to the transfer station or an eco drop shop and pay for the dumping fee based on the size of your vehicle and the volume of your waste. For hazardous waste such as batteries, you can leave them to eco drop shops without getting charged.  Almost all types of batteries can be recycled so they are generally accepted at the centers for free. Some examples are batteries made of lithium, alkaline, zinc, Lithium-Ion, NiCd, NiMh, gel and dry cells, and Cr123 batteries.   But note that damaged, leaking and rusty batteries will not be accepted. But again, if you don’t have time to dispose of your waste yourself, you can also call us for the service.

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How To Reach Us

  • Visit us at to see our list of large items for pickup with their corresponding pickup charge and to know what services we can do for you.  Or call us on 0273106127

    So if your yellow bin in Christchurch has been left out by the council’s pickup truck and you don’t want to wait for a fortnight, call us anytime and we will deal with it in no time. All of our transactions will be done online and payment can be done using your credit card or through PayPal.

    We promise to keep our information safe with us and your payments will already include the GST (Good and Services Tax)