Frequently asked questions

Got a question about the new Rubbish and Recycling collection service?  It may be answered here.  If not, get in touch and we'll give you the details you need. 


How will the service work?  

Rubbish and recycling will be collected in three wheelie bins.

Rubbish will be collected every week. Glass recycling and mixed recycling will be collected on alternate weeks. The three bins will be:

  • A 140L bin for glass recycling (bottles and jars only)
  • A 140L bin for rubbish
  • A 240L bin for mixed recycling (cans, plastic bottles and containers (1-7), paper, cardboard).

Click here for more details on how to use the service.


What will happen to glass?  

From 1 July, glass will be collected separately across the whole district so it can all be recycled.  Glass will be sent to O-I for recycling:

ONLY glass bottles and jars can go in the wheelie bin. Any other type of glass (eg heatproof glass like Pyrex, drinking glasses, window glass) should go in the rubbish.

A small amount of contamination in the glass stream can stop everyone’s glass being recycled, so it’s really important that we all do the right thing.


What locations will be covered by this three bin system?

The entire Queenstown Lakes district will be covered – all the way from Makarora down to Kingston. 


What properties will be included?

All developed residentially rated properties within the district that pay the Waste Management charge will be eligible for a collection.

For any properties or dwellings that are rated as commercial or accommodation, owners will need to engage a commercial waste provider.   Click here for a list of local providers


What should I do with my crates or old council wheelie bin?

You can repurpose your crates or old wheelie bin after 1 July if they’re useful to you.

Otherwise in:

Wanaka - drop them off to Wastebusters for reuse

Queenstown – drop them off to Frankton transfer station for recycling

Outlying communities (Kingston, Glenorchy, Makarora) – we are working on plans for a half day drop off location. 


Can low-waste people opt out/ why are we moving away from user-pays rubbish?

You can’t opt-out because it’s a communal service, just like parks and libraries. Currently there’s no way to run a user-pays wheelie bin system so we’re all paying for a rubbish service catering to the “norm”. If the average person got a rubbish bin that was too small, we’d face contamination of recycling and rubbish dumping.

The best way to reduce what our district spends on rubbish collections is to help our community shift towards zero waste. Council is funding Wastebusters to run zero waste education and workshops including Dr Compost and Enviroschools. You could bring some family or friends along, or support other zero waste initiatives in the community, to help shift the ‘norm’ to making less waste.


Can I return the bins after 1 July?

Changing the way you deal with your household waste might be challenging but we recommend you give it a go. 

Over 54,000 bins are being delivered district-wide and are tagged to each specific address.  While eligible properties can not opt out of the service, we will advise after 1 July and the service has commenced where unwanted bins can be taken.  This way, the tagged bin can be tracked and potentially reused at another property. 


I’ve got a long drive, how do I get my bins to the gate?

You can buy a wheelie bin hitch so you can attach the bins to the tow ball on your car. Cost from $25, search online for “wheelie bin tow hitch”.


My mobility is limited, how do I get my bins to the gate?

For those people in the community that may require assistance there is an on property service available.    This is for those who due to disability, impairment or frailty, have difficulty getting their wheelie bins to the kerbside. 

If you would like to be considered for this service please complete the form below and return to or drop it into one of the Council offices. 

As part of the application process you will be asked to provide evidence of your situation, and a site visit will be conducted to better understand your needs.

>> Application for an Assisted Collection Service for rubbish and recycling  


Can I still use my private wheelie bin service, or do I have to use the new three bins?

You can use a private service but you’ll be paying twice as you can’t opt-out of the council service.


What about collections for multi-unit developments?

Some properties have been identified as multi-unit developments meaning storage and collection of of three bins per household would be very challenging.   Waste Management will work with multi-unit developments (MUD) to find the best solution.   Letters have now been sent to property managers of identified MUDS. 

If your MUD is happy to received the standard Council service, then do nothing and your bins will arrive automatically. 

If you MUD would like assistance to work through an alternative option, please have one appointed representative get in touch prior to Monday 29 April to arrange a site visit. 

If it is not possible for the Council service to meet your needs, then the whole multi-unit development may opt out of the council service and engage a commercial waste provider.  To opt out, every property in the MUD must complete the following form: 

>> MUD waste collection opt out form 


Can I opt-out of this service?

You can choose to use a private service but there is no opt-out option for the Council service - just like at present with the rates funded recycling bins. This is because the Waste Management charge also funds other waste services not just the collection.


When will collection be?

The refuse bin will be collected every week. The glass and mixed recycling bins will be collected on alternate weeks.   

Head to our online collection calendar and reminders website


What information was used to decide the collection system?

To determine what the new service should be, we used a Better Business Case process and also aligned it with the recently adopted Waste Minimisation and Management Plan (WMMP) programme which focusses on glass and organics.


Why is refuse collected weekly?

At the moment, and also under the new 3 bin system, organics are mixed in with the refuse. While this is the case, it is important to retain a regular collection to reduce associated risks, i.e. odour, pest issues. When/if an organics collection is introduced, we will review the frequency of refuse collection.


Still have questions that are not answered here?

Please contact QLDC Customer Services on 03 441 0499 (Queenstown) or 03 443 0024 (Wanaka).