Cleaning up our waste look

Published on 20 September 2021


Palmy residents will see new-look rubbish and recycling bins, bags, crates and trucks over the coming years.

One of the new-look rubbish trucks, with bilingual branding.

Our Council has committed to using the national waste minimisation brand guidelines, which were created to make it easier for locals and tourists to know what item goes in which bin – and therefore reduce unnecessary items ending up in landfill.

The new-look items will be phased in when more stock or vehicles are ordered, or public bins are upgraded. This means there will be no cost to ratepayers associated with adopting the new standards.

The national guidelines mean you’ll start associating a colour with a type of item:

  • Whero/Red = Para/Rubbish
  • Karaka/Orange = Karaehe /Recycling
  • Kahurangi/Blue= Hangarua Karaehe / Glass Recycling

We are also eagerly jumping on board the recommendation to make all our waste services bilingual too, as we are committed to further strengthening the use of te reo in our city.


The orange recycling truck will pick up the recycling in your orange-lid wheelie bin.

Residents will start seeing the new look over the coming weeks

Four trucks hit the street with their new look today. They include two recycling trucks and two rubbish trucks. These trucks joined our fleet late last year, but have only just had the signwriting added this past weekend.

The recycling trucks are still orange, and the rubbish trucks are red. One side of the truck is written in English, and the other side in te reo Māori.

In the coming months two blue bilingual glass trucks will also join our fleet, and blue glass crates will be rolled out to new-build properties, or when replacements are needed.

Our orange-lid wheelie bins remain the same, but with our updated Palmy logo, and translated to te reo.

We began making the switch to our public bins last year, and these can be spotted on Square East, Wildbase Recovery and at He Ara Kotahi. Our recycling drop-off stations also have the new colour coding.

The most noticeable change for our residents will be a switch from khaki to red rubbish bags which are expected to arrive late this year. We will continue to accept the current bags for some months during the transition, and will provide further information about this ahead of the rollout.

 Photo shows how the new brand will be applied on a glass crate, rubbish bag and glass recycling truck.

New red rubbish bags are on the way, while your glass crate and the truck that collects it will eventually be blue.

Project being phased in as upgrades are needed

Water and Waste Manager, Mike Monaghan, says we are slowly phasing this work in when upgrades to our fleet are needed, or when we are ordering new stocks to ensure there is no additional cost to ratepayers.

“The wheelie bins and crates will be rolled out for new properties and when replacements are needed. Bins and crates will only be replaced for genuine reasons, not because someone would prefer the new colour. Wheelie bins and crates have an expected lifetime of at least 15 years, so that gives some indication as to how long it will take to fully roll out this new look across the city.”

He says this is the prudent approach.

“Many other cities have rolled out new waste services over the past couple of years and upgraded all bins and crates at once for the new guidelines. This would result in a significant investment for the city, and would contradict the purpose of reducing waste when many of our bins and crates are still in good condition. We are role models for waste minimisation and we don’t want to unnecessarily be creating waste.”

He says it is an exciting project.

“We’re proud to be an eco-city and we want to make it easier for everyone to do the right thing when out and about, so this was an easy decision for us. The new guidelines also have some practical advantages – people will be able to able to see the trucks in their neighbourhoods and know what collection day it is based on the colour of the vehicles.”

He says the move to red rubbish bags was a logical one.

“Residents have commented that having them be green is kin to ‘green-washing’ rubbish, so we are looking forward to a move to whero (red) in the very near future.”

We’ll provide more information about the change to red bags and what it means for retailers and residents closer to when they arrive. They will cost the same to purchase as the khaki ones.

He says Council understands that some residents would prefer a move to wheelie rubbish bins, but rubbish bags help support a reduction in waste going to landfill.

“The average Council rubbish bag we collect weighs 7kg, compared to 20kg for a 240 litre commercial rubbish wheelie bin. 44% of what is in a council bag is rubbish, compared to just 29% of the contents of a rubbish wheelie bin. The remainder of these bags are recycling, food and green waste that we don’t want to see going to landfill.”


Tagged as: