Recycling Week 2020: Recycle beyond your kerbside bin

NZ Recycling Week is all about making an extra effort to ensure our waste goes in the right bin, setting up good habits for a lifetime.

But what about items that aren’t accepted in kerbside recycling, like coffee pods, toothpaste tubes and disposable razors?

Thanks to Terracycle, here are some common household items you may not know that you can recycle for free in New Zealand:


Most people will go through about 300 toothbrushes in their lifetime. In an effort to curb the amount of oral care waste heading to landfill, Colgate has partnered with TerraCycle to recycle them for free, along with toothpaste tubes and floss containers. This simple recycling solution could save an estimated 30 million plastic toothbrushes from ending up in landfill every year. That’s 900 tonnes of plastic we could save from entering our environment. Plus, through the Colgate Community Garden Challenge, schools that recycle the most oral care can win a recycled garden set.


Recycling all your writing instruments has been made easy thanks to TerraCycle and BiC. Simply drop them off at a Community Collection Hub for people in your area. Recycling through this programme could save an estimated 700 tonnes of pens from landfills across the country.

Plastic Razors

Kiwis go through millions of disposable razors each year and up until now they have all ended up in landfill because they are too complicated to recycle. Thanks to a new program launched with Gillette, plastic razors and their packaging can now be recycled in New Zealand for free.

You can search for Community Collection Hub on the map on the TerraCycle website or sign up to become one yourself!

Coffee capsules

Research from 2019 revealed that New Zealanders love a caffeine fix: 70 per cent drink at least one coffee per day and 25 per cent have more than one hit. That’s a lot of coffee capsules potentially heading into landfill! Luckily there are several TerraCycle programmes you can recycle through, depending on your preferred brand: Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Lór Moccona, illy & Jed’s or Láffare. All the programs are free – simply join online and download free labels.

Food storage

Food storage bags and containers are one of the trickiest items when it comes to deciding whether they can be recycled or not. Glad has taken the guesswork out of recycling by accepting all brands of snap lock, slide and freezer bags, cling wrap and polypropylene food storage containers in the TerraCycle recycling programme.

Skin care product packaging

Most people associate recycling with kitchen items, but think about setting up a recycling bin in your bathroom as well. You can recycle all brands of facial skin care through the Emma Lewisham Beauty Circle: plastic bottles, tubes, pots, lids, droppers, and pumps!


New Zealanders are justifiably proud of their natural environment, but how often do you see balloons left on the ground after a celebration? Zuru Bunch O Balloons offer a free recycling program for their used stems, balloon pieces and balloon packaging.

TerraCycle New Zealand's Office Collection Station

For more information on recycling the ‘unrecyclable’ and participating in any of the free recycling programmes mentioned above, head to the TerraCycle website here.

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