At Wastebusters, we are passionate about real recycling – producing clean, uncontaminated 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”. One example is that we colour sort all our glass so that it can be recycled back into new bottles.

You can drop your recycling into our sites at Alexandra and Wanaka 9am-5pm, seven days a week. We also pick up from Central Otago businesses, call us if you’d like to start business recycling.

Many of the items we recycle have the potential to contaminate our beautiful land and clean water if they are put in a landfill. Plus recycling reclaims resources which would otherwise have gone to landfill, saving energy, land from mining, water and space in landfills.

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). Some charges apply to cover the cost of handling, sorting, dismantling, tranporting and reprocessing materials:

Household packaging

We can recycle anything that you put in your kerbside recycling bin: paper, cardboard, glass, plastics (1-7), steel and aluminium cans. We charge just $1 for a recycling bin (up to 60 litres).  Please wash dirty containers first.


We recycle clean, white polystyrene with stickers removed (no meat-trays please). 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.

Batteries *

We recycle rechargeable batteries (eg tool, cellphone and car batteries). Rechargeable batteries contain harmful heavy metals like nickel cadmium and shouldn’t be put into landfills.

Used Engine Oil *

You can recycle 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 recycle used vegetable oil, and we collect deep-frying oil from restaurants and take-aways.

Cell-phones *

We recycle cellphones for free. Cellphones and their batteries contain heavy metals and brominated flame retardant plastic which may cause toxic leachate if they go to landfill. Every smartphone contains precious materials including gold, silver, copper, platinum and palladium, so throwing them in the landfill is a real waste!

Computer Recycling *

Yes, Wastebusters accepts computers, printers, TV’s, faxes, cell-phones and computer accessories (keyboards, mice, routers etc) for recycling. There are different charges to cover the costs of responsible recycling depending on the weight and value of materials inside the item, see the list of prices here.

 Household appliances *

Appliances with a high metal content can be recycled at Wastebusters, including washers, dryers, ovens and dishwashers. We charge $5-$15 per appliance to help cover the costs of dismantling, processing and transporting them. You can check out the full price list here. Unfortunately we can’t take fridges or freezers because they contain harmful greenhouse gases and we are not set up to de-gas them properly.

 Scrap metal

We can recycle metal including old engines, window surrounds, garage doors, chimney flues and other random metal bits. The scrap metal market is in a dive in 2017, which is putting all scrap metal recycling under a lot of financial pressure. Talk to our yard staff and they will show you where our metals recycling area is and talk you through the best options for metals recycling.

Eco-bulbs *

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

Ink Cartridges *

We work with Cartridge World to recycle printer cartridges. Drop in your used printer cartridges to the yard, and we send them off 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 plastic 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 for another cheery, beery life.