News & Events

Wheelie bin stocktake to begin next month

Friday July 20 2018

Palmerston North City Council will begin fitting RFID chips to all of its recycling wheelie bins from August with the aim of improving its service to ratepayers.

Photo shows illustration from RFID project flyer, with a wheelie bin and text that reads "your bin is being chipped".

Council is introducing new smart technology by allocating a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip to each wheelie bin.

The RFID chip will identify the property a bin is allocated to, allowing for more efficient collection as well as ensuring everyone in the community is receiving the recycling service they are paying for in their rates. It will also help Council to understand recycling rates.

Palmerston North City Council City Networks General Manager, Ray Swadel, says, “This will allow us to provide a better recycling service for our ratepayers, including if a wheelie bin goes wandering, we’ll be able to find it more easily.

“As a property’s rates bill covers kerbside recycling service we also need to make sure that we’re providing a fair service. For example, if a property has acquired two recycling bins and they’re only paying for one via their rates, then the ratepayer is ultimately picking up the bill for the additional bin.”

Every year, ratepayers pay $126 through rates for Council’s kerbside recycling service, but estimates suggest that around 1,000 wheelie bins have been misappropriated and are not being paid for.

“Using those estimates, those bins that are not being paid for are costing ratepayers upwards of $126,000 a year.”

The process of chipping will also allow Council to deal with wheelie bins that have been damaged, stolen or found on other properties, more easily.

“This again saves the ratepayer, as replacing bins currently costs, on average, $23,000 per year.”

Once the chipping project is complete, only bins chipped and at the correct property will be collected.

The chipping project is expected to take up to four months, covering nearly 30,000 wheelie bins, and will cost the Council $300,000.

Residents will receive a pamphlet in the letterbox to let them know when the chipping is about to begin. Residents should:

  1. Write the property address using the tag provided.
  2. Ensure the bin/s is out from 7.30am to 7pm on the wheelie bin recycling collection day, even after the collection truck has been, and even if their bin is empty.
  3. Continue to place the bin/s at kerbside on collection day until the bins have been chipped*.

*A small sticker placed on the bin will indicate it has been chipped.

**If extra bins are found, there's the option of paying for the additional service through your rates.

The RFID chip is not a GPS tracker, it is more like a barcode that is only read when the recycling truck goes past.

More information is available at