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

All the standard kerbside materials can be dropped off at our recycling centre; paper, cardboard, glass, plastics (1-7), steel and aluminum cans. We charge just $1 for up to 100 litres (a large plastic binful).  Please wash dirty containers first.

We also pick up recycling from businesses in Wanaka.

We sort our recycling by hand, so there is minimal contamination going into the bales of material we send away to be recycled. The ideal is to recycle the material back into the same product – which is called closed loop recycling. We send sort glass into three colours and send it to the O-I factory in Auckland to be made back into glass bottles. Recycling glass drastically reduces the amount of energy needed to make a new bottle, so it’s well worth the effort.

glass slide (2) (800x531) In 2013, we received a grant from the Glass Packaging Forum to upgrade our glass sorting facility. Previously we were double-handling glass, so the new glass slide has saved us lots of time and energy, making it much easier to keep up during the peak seasons. The roof also makes the job a lot more pleasant, especially on rainy days!

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 *

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 Recytech who process them to extract usable resources. We also take car batteries for recycling.

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 Recycling *

Yes, Wanaka Wastebusters accepts computers, printers, 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.  Click here to find out the prices. We can’t recycle old-style CRT TVs or CRT monitors, as we are waiting for the Government and industry to find a workable recycling solution for these items. We can recycle flat screen TVs.

 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.