Nov 15, 2019

More Coloured Recycling Bins to the Regions

The campaign to take more colour coded bins into the regions has been developed by The Packaging Forum which promotes recycling under the Government’s Love NZ brand and The Auckland Litter Prevention Steering Group which manages the Be a Tidy Kiwi brand. The campaign is also supported by many councils around the country and the New Zealand Transport Agency and KiwiRail.

Project partners have been working hard to get the recycling and rubbish bins installed in time for summer with the accepted standard colour codes making it easier for people to recycle.

The bins are being installed in Auckland, Gisborne, Kaikoura, Kapiti Coast and Ruapehu and follows the successful implementation of the technology over the past 18 months around the country. More than 150 of the new concept bins will have been placed in 17 regions as part of the “Let’s Put Litter in its Place” project. The campaign has also been supported by the Government, the Prime Minister and celebrities (

Richard Leckinger, Programme Manager for Be a Tidy Kiwi said the design of bins or ‘binfrastructure’ influences how people use them.

“We know it’s important to have strategically positioned colour coded bins because it allows people to dispose of their waste easier when they are out and about. Bins were once designed to blend into the streetscape, but our new eye-catching bins prove that colour and clear signage which is consistent around the country reduces litter,” said Leckinger.

“The bins have English and Te Reo signage with each region selecting Hindi, Cantonese, Korean and Japanese depending on local requirements.”

“79% of people surveyed say that the colours and signage make the bins easier to use. Over the past three years, we have counted litter and monitored the impact of the new bins and we are seeing a measurable decrease in litter.”

The bins manufactured in Wellington by AE Tilley incorporate best practice features to make it easier for people to distinguish their recycling from their rubbish and include national consistency about the colour of the bins; use of multiple languages and clear signage.

Lyn Mayes, Litter Project Manager for The Packaging Forum agrees that the colours and signage are making a big difference.

“Over 430 tonnes of recyclables and 480 tonnes of rubbish have been deposited in the bins since we started the trial at the beginning of 2018. To put that into perspective that’s more than 35-million items which could have ended up as litter. It’s also encouraging to see that people are making more effort to find a bin. 39% of people now say they will walk more than 40 metres to find a bin compared to just 23% last year,” Mayes said.

“Our technology partner EYEfi has further enhanced the smart units so that they provide a routing schedule for collectors identifying which bins need emptying in which order to maximise efficiency. We are excited about the potential for this technology.”

The $2.4 million project has received $1.72 million funding from The Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund with a national advertising and consumer awareness campaign “Let’s put litter in its place – it’s just how we do things around here” supporting this investment in infrastructure.