Wanaka Wastebusters is passionate about real recycling – producing clean, uncontaminated recycling which can be made into a high quality product.

All the standard materials which are collected for kerbside recycling in Wanaka can be dropped off at our recycling centre; paper, cardboard, glass, plastics (1-7), steel and aluminum for just $1 for up to 100 litres. Please wash dirty containers first.

We also pick up recycling from businesses in Wanaka.

We take many extra items for recycling, many of which have the potential to contaminate our beautiful land and clean water if they are put in a landfill. Here is a full list of all the extra materials and appliances you can recycle at our recycling centre:


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.

Batteries *

All types of household, car, cell-phone and tool batteries can be recycled at Wastebusters. Batteries, especially rechargeable ones such as cellphone batteries, contain toxic materials and shouldn’t be put into landfills. We send the batteries to Recytech who process them to extract usable resources.

Used Engine Oil *

We send used engine oil to the Holcim cement factory to be used as fuel for cement kilns. You can bring in any used engine oil from cars, trucks, mowers, chainsaws etc. 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. Bring it in to us to be made into biodiesel via transesterification. We also collect deep-frying oil from restaurants and take-aways. All our business trucks run on 100% biodiesel during the summer, and a biodiesel/diesel mix through the winter.

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 and TV Recycling *

Yes! Wanaka Wastebusters can now accept computers, TVs and other electronic waste for recycling all year round. We are an RCN e-Cycle site, part of a national network of sites which recycle electronic waste around the country. There is a moderate charge to recycle electronic waste with RCN e-Cycle, to cover the costs of responsible recycling.  Click here to find out more.

 Household appliances *

Anything with a high metal content can be recycled at Wanaka Wastebusters, including appliances such as washers, dryers, ovens and dishwashers. We charge $10 per appliance to help cover disassembly and recycling costs. 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 fin heaters, old engines 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.

Reusable Glass Bottles

We collect glass bottles which can be re-used: 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.

* = hazardous waste which can create toxic leachate if put in a landfill.