0515 Eva smallWanaka Wastebusters is passionate about real recycling – producing clean, sorted recycling which can be made into high quality products. We sort our recycling by hand, so there is minimal contamination going into the bales of material we send away to be reprocessed. The ideal is to recycle the material back into the same product – “closed loop recycling”.

Our recycling centre is open 7 days. We also pick up recycling from businesses in Wanaka. Many of the items we recycle have the potential to contaminate our beautiful land and clean water if they are put in a landfill. Here is the full list of things you can drop off to us for recycling (* = hazardous waste which can create toxic leachate if put in a landfill):

Household packaging

We can recycle anything that you put in your kerbside recycling bin: paper, cardboard, glass, plastics (1-7), steel and aluminum cans. We charge just $1 for up to a standard recycling bin-full (up to 100 litres).  Please wash dirty containers first.


The main difficulty in recycling polystyrene is that it is bulky and expensive to transport. We crush it in a special baler which doubles its density before sending it to Christchurch to be made into insulation. We can only recycle clean polystyrene with stickers removed (no meat-trays!).

Batteries *

Rechargeable batteries, such as cellphone and tool batteries, contain toxic materials and shouldn’t be put into landfills. We collect the batteries and send them to to Interwaste who process them to extract usable resources. We also take car batteries for recycling.

Used Engine Oil *

You can bring in any used engine oil from cars, trucks, mowers, chainsaws etc. There is a handling cost of 50 cents per litre, (25 cents per litre for more than 100 litres). Please make sure they are in a water-tight container with a lid – the container that the new oil comes in works well.

Vegetable Oil *

If you are a fan of deep-frying, then don’t stick your crusty oil down the drain. We also collect deep-frying oil from restaurants and take-aways.

Cell-phones *

We recycle cellphones for free as part of the Starship Children’s hospital fundraiser. Working phones are refurbished and exported to places such as Hong Kong, China and Eatsern Europe. Broken phones are responsibly recycled.

The money raised supports the Starship Children’s hospital, which is always there for sick children, even from as far away Wanaka. Cellphones, especially their rechargeable batteries, contain heavy metals which may cause toxic leachate if they go to landfill.


Computer Recycling *

Yes, Wanaka Wastebusters accepts computers, printers, TV’s, faxes, cell-phones and computer accessories (keyboards, mice, routers etc) for recycling all year round. There is a moderate charge to cover the costs of responsible recycling, see the list of prices here.

 Household appliances *

Any appliances with a high metal content can be recycled at Wanaka Wastebusters, including washers, dryers, ovens and dishwashers. We charge $5-$15 per appliance to help cover dismantling, processing and transport costs, check out the full price list here. Unfortunately we can’t take fridges or freezers because of the high cost of degassing them responsibly.

 Scrap metal

We can recycle anything with a high metal content including old engines, window surrounds, garage doors, chimney flues and other random metal bits. Talk to the guardians in the yard and they will show you where our metals recycling area is. Scrap metal recycling is free.

Eco-bulbs *

Eco-bulbs contain mercury, so you don’t want them to end up in the landfill. in the recycling process, the tubes are crushed, elements separated and mercury is recovered. Aluminium and glass is also recycled in the process. We ask for a donation to help cover recycling costs.

Ink Cartridges *

We work with Cartridge World to recycle printer cartridges. Drop in your used printer cartridges and we send them on to be refilled and reused. Any obsolete or broken cartridges are recycled.

Shrink wrap

Clean plastic wrap marked with a number 4 can be recycled (eg the wrap around rolls of toilet paper). The wrap should have a slight stretch in it when pulled.

Glass Bottles for Reuse

We collect refillable glass bottles which can be washed and reused: Green Man, Emersons and Speights/ABC swappa-crate. Keep them separate when you drop off your recycling, and we’ll make sure they go round again.