• long running

[Auckland] Free Upgrade from 240L to 360L Recycling bin (or downgrade to 120L) @ Auckland Council


Auckland council Bin exchange service has re-opened after a multi-month closure due to Covid-19 and other issues. My new recycling bin turned up today.

Option's here by area:


For Central Auckland suburbs, default recycling bin size is 240 Liter. Zero cost options are 120L (smaller, so easier to store and handle), or 360L.

Default 120L rubbish bin can be upgraded to 240L, but this has a cost ([edited] $81.26 per year), still fairly good value vs skips, dump fees etc.


[edit] - as you would expect the 360L bins are somewhat large externally: 1100mm high, 848mm wide, 848mm deep

[edit2] - Some conflict over if this is actually free, one user has been advised by phone that there is a ongoing additional cost to have the larger bin. I suspect this is in error, but full disclosure for those considering taking up the offer.


Obviously this advice clashes with the councils Public website, what other users have been advised by phone, and council procedures which have allowed me (not the ratepayer) to upgrade the recycling bin size.

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  • +1

    I wish chch council did a free upgrade for the green bin.

    • I signed up for a larger bin 8 years ago. Cancelled after a year and asked them to pick it up. They never picked up the bin and I've been using it ever since.

  • Tried the form but can’t find anywhere that says it’s free to upgrade?

    • Price table (for central Auckland) is here:


      Doesn't explicitly say that the Recycling bin upgrade is free, but note how there is a cost quoted to upgrade rubbish bin size, but the only costs associated with recycling are if you want an extra bin.

      I have a high degree of confidence that the recycling bin upgrade is free. My request for a bigger rubbish bin was knocked back because My name did not match the "ratepayer" name on council records (A family member who is the person who the extra costs will be billed to), but the recycling bin upgrade request was processed regardless (as there are no extra costs).

    • There's just no price listed for the recycling bin upgrade, so I think that means it's free.

      I upgraded our rubbish bins as well since it's only $11.

      Edit: yep confirmed recycling upgrade is free.

      • Is that $11 charge one-off?

        • Yes

        • +1

          The $11 is to cover the rubbish collection service for June 2022, after that they will add $70.53 to your council rates per year.

      • Free for a year or forever?

        • Any costs are just the cost of replacing/exchanging the physical bin, not the collection service. The service is covered by rates.

          • @Antidamage: The rates bill increases for the larger rubbish bin.

            • @ray: That's what I thought too. Otherwise the pro-rata charge on the council's website doesn't make sense.

              • @xsolider: I can't make sense of it in any way. Why are there past dates?

                $11 should be the charge for just one month before it gets added to the rates bill right?

                • +1

                  @Bill: i called them just then, the fees on the website is just a 1 off to buy/upgrade the bins. but then you will be charged more in your rates for using a larger bin going forward

                  • @jaywhytee: Cheers. This is the answer that I was looking for. I'll pass.

                  • @jaywhytee: Is the annual rate increase for upgrading Rubbish bin or both? I want to upgrade the recycle bin, but only if there is no extra charge.

                    The pro data is very confusing, why does it become cheaper if I enroll in a later date?

                    • +2

                      @DoubleDude: Upgrading the recycling bin is free (both upfront and ongoing), and can be requested by the property occupant.

                      Upgrading the Rubbish bin is cira $70 / year (remaining part of this rates year applied pro-rata as per the table). Must be requested by the rate payer (owner of property).

          • @Antidamage: Exchanging the bin is free, the fee is to cover collection service until end of June, after that $70.53 will be added to your rates per year.

      • $11 is the pro rata charge for the rest of the billing year.

        Will cost cira additional $70 a year going forward. Objectively good value, even for occasional needs.

      • You got charged $11 because you ordered in June 2022, so the $11 only covers the difference of month of June. You will be charged $70.53 extra per year though your rates starting July 2022.

        If you order your upgrade rubbish bin next month you will be invoiced for the $70.53 which they can't add to your rates until July 2023.

        • Yes, this is exactly what I was thinking.

          Confusing thing is that it's june right now so it makes me think the pricing table is shifting every month

          • @Bill: Yes the price goes down each month past July and the price you will pay for the year ending June is listed on the website under "Exchange rubbish bin from 120L to 240L (pro-rata charge)"

            I ordered mine 240L last year and i'm very happy with it, i can see a few families on our streets have the larger rubbish or recycling bins.

        • silly question…. where on the rate I can see the break down of this cost ? I have look at my rate… can't see it anywhere… thank you

          • +1

            @budget: It's on page two under Waste Management - Standard Refuse, if you have a 120L bin it will say $150.06, for 240L it's $220.59.

            I believe this is the price for Auckland and Manukau, but if you live in West Auckland or North Shore and use tags on your bin then you probably don't have this charge.

  • +4

    Still waiting for the Mr Fusion Home Energy Reactor I ordered…

  • +1

    Ahhh…I wish they give rebates for downgrading to smaller size bins…haha

    • I think they are trying to encourage recycling. One recycling bin per property (regardless of size), is included essentially included.

      Option to decrease recycling bin size is only really for those who have difficulty handling or storing the standard 240L bin (i.e. elderly living alone).

      • +2

        I find it hard to believe that they're trying to get people to recycle when they're including rubbish pickup in our rates. No point in sorting out the rubbish if there's a "free" pick up every week!

        Meanwhile there's people like our household who put the bins out once every 12+weeks due to recycling/composting.

        • We gotta buy rubbish bin tags for every pickup if we want those to get collected..

          • +2

            @Vena: Rubbish tags are better IMHO… you can save/spend depending on your trash needs.
            buy cheaper tags - hoard on tags when countdown has 10% cashback or you need some extra spending to hit those credit card bonuses.

            Flat rate - they will just charge and increase the hell out of everyone.

          • @Vena: Yea @Vena that's the point I'm trying to make. If I'm putting my bins out every 12 weeks because I'm trying to save money by sorting my rubbish, I'd only be spending roughly $25 a year.

            Now the council is wanting to get rid of bin tags and charge you via rates. If I get charged a flat fee of $150 (and then increasing per year) in my rates for unlimited rubbish removal, what's the incentive for me to sort my rubbish?

            Now I'd still sort mine, but you know there's muppet out there with that sort of thought process.

            • @Latex Fist: Purely based on my observation, the problem with tags appears to be that it costs a lot more to do.

              When we lived in an area with no tags, there was one guy driving a truck (stops, operates arm, grabs bin, tips into truck, replaces bin, moves on).

              Now we live where there are tags, and it requires two people, one to do the truck as above, and a second to collect the tags.

              People have to be paid so much, that it kills the concept.

              I might be wrong though?

              • @Alan6984: Also rubbish truck will still drive thru your street, tags or no tags, so yeah will cost council more or the same amount of money, and councillors always want x% increase in their fat salaries every year, hah. Unless you introduce some sort of "smartbin" that connects to the Internet and tells rubbish truck which ones to pickup, the old tag system is flawed from the very beginning.

                • @The Hound: Will eventually be payt with bins.

                  No need to differentiate which ones to pick up as those who don't want it picked up won't put them by the kerb.

                  Not internet connected but RFID recording each bin and then billing accordingly.

        • 'as new research by environmental consultants Waste Not has found “no clear evidence that PAYT areas of Auckland produce less refuse per capita than rates-funded areas”. In addition, management consultants Morrison Low concluded that rates-funded refuse collection would provide greater cost-effectiveness for Council than the current hybrid model or the PAYT option."


          No clear evidence that paying per bag etc actually results in less trash. You would be an example, minimizing waste because it is the right thing to do.

          Means it is hard to justify the extra costs that come with charging per bin etc. Does mean households like yours get a bit of a raw deal.

          Some area's of South Auckland were running bin tag's for a while, but bin tags getting stolen (and hence the bins being left full) hit the media multiple times.

        • I'm impressed with you only putting the general waste bin four times a year (or so).

          We have a 360L recycling bin, and a green compost bin, and we still have to put out our 120L general waste bin every two weeks (or so), since so much cannot go in the recycling / compost bins. We could go to a larger bin (240L or 360L) which could push us out to once every six weeks or so I guess.

          It probably depends where you shop though - if you use a supermarket, hard not to acquire a lot of non-recyclable waste.

          Also, number of people in the house of course - we have five, but if there were only two of us, then we maybe might possibly be able to squeeze it out to 12 weeks or so.

          • @Alan6984: We recycle, compost, separate soft plastics, and freeze fat/etc that'll otherwise stink up the bin until we need to put it out. Once you've done that, there's not really too much for two people living in a 3 bedder to throw out. Tbh there's probably better ways of even getting rid of the fat, but I've not looked into it. Majority of what goes into a bin for most people is soft plastics, but most don't realise that there's soft plastic collections at a lot of supermarkets and other places nowadays. Even polystyrene can be disposed of (depending what type) at the likes of Mitre10. When you've done all of that there's really barely anything that clogs up a bin (provided you're not eating fast food, like we don't).

  • +2

    BTW, inorganic collection is open for booking, if anyone is interested.

  • I just put my rubbish in other peoples bins.

    • +1

      Even better, just take your neighbors bin. They will think it got lost and wait for a new one from the council, and on collection day you can just put it out with your rubbish in it and it will be found again empty.

      Perfectly legal and ethical since all the bins are owned by the council anyways and you are giving it back.

      • xD!!!

      • yeah nah can't do that because my neighbours have cctv lol

        • Put a hoody on before you walk out the door. Oh, and if you have a name tag on from, say, a conference you attended earlier in the day, take it off.

          Source: I am a criminal mastermind that has never been caught doing anything illegal!

  • So is upgrading the recycle bin from 240 - 360l free?

    • -1

      The bin upgrade is free. However, they will charge you roughly $70 more per year in your rates to collect it.

      • Thank you

      • +2

        You have confused recycling with rubbish.

        Recycling bin size change is free (zero upfront and ongoing costs remain the same as with the default 240L bin).

        Upgrading a 120L rubbish bin to a 240L one costs $70 per year (plus pro-rata charges for the current year).

        Note how the rate table doesn't differentiate by recycling bin size, but does by rubbish bin size.


        • I wasn't confused before (I did mean recycling) but your comment made me confused.

          See @jaywhytee's comment which is where my comment was based on.

          • @stinky111: Jaywhytee made an inaccuracy with the word "bins".

            A substitution to make it more accurate would be "rubbish bin"

            Here is the full comment to save time on scrolling

            i called them just then, the fees on the website is just a 1 off to buy/upgrade the bins. but then you will be charged more in your rates for using a larger bin going forward

          • @stinky111: The comment you are refering to, is responding to one by bill discussing the $11 june 2022 pro rata charge to upgrade a 120L rubbish bin to a 240L rubbish bin.

            To add to the confusion, the June option has now been removed as it is July. And the rates table has been updated. Seems it will cost $81.26 for the year from today to have the larger rubbish bin.

            Recycling bin charges are the same regardless of size, so zero cost to upgrade to 360L (both initial and ongoing).

            I have a high degree of confidence in this. My 360L recycling bin has arrived, despite me not using the ratepayer of the property on the form. My request for a larger rubbish bin was knocked back as I was not the rate payer, and the rate payer needs to do that request as it results in a higher rates bill.

            The recycling upgrade being fee has also been confirmed in this comment. https://www.cheapies.nz/comment/133386/redir

            But by all means give the council a call to confirm for yourself.

            • @scott: Ah yes correct! Will try give them a call to double check though.

            • @scott: Just got off the phone with them and they have confirmed (after much discussion and waiting several minutes) that the upgrade is NOT free. They also got confused as to why the website (their internal one) wasn't showing any upgrade fees (I guess the same story with the public website?) so they had to double check that somewhere else.

              There will be an extra $81.26 annual charge to upgrade your recycling bin from 240L to 360L.

              • @stinky111: WTF, this is shtf.

              • +1

                @stinky111: If true this is going to be a mess.

                Suspect the council worker may have made an error (especially given their internal website is not showing fees).

                • No mention of differential charges for the various sizes of recycling bin on public website (where differing charges for 120L vs 240L rubbish bins, and the cost for an additional recucling bins are are clearly stated).
                • Others users have been told by phone it is free.
                • Council system processed my request for a larger recycle bin despite me not being the ratepayer.
                • Pricing is exactly the same as a 120L to 240L rubbish bin upgrade. Logically one would expect extra 120L of recycling volume to be much cheaper, especially given it is collected half as frequently.
                • The price for an additional recycling bin (standard size is 240L) is $89.59 per year. One would expect a 120L increase in bin side to be less than half this (less time taken to empty one large bin vs two small ones).
                • @scott: Yeah not sure what’s exactly true now but won’t be risking it. We don’t need the larger bin anyway.

                  They actually made an error and processed the upgrade despite me saying I didn’t want it. I phoned them again to cancel it. Different person picked up the phone and said the same thing - that it isn’t free.

    • +2

      Yes. Recycling bin upgrade is free, both upfront and ongoing. (and can be requested by the occupant).

      stinky111 is confusing the recycling bin with the rubbish bin. upgrading a 120L rubbish bin to a 240L one costs $70 more per year. (and must be requested by the ratepayer).

      • Thanks Scott,
        The table is confusing and i just wanted clarification
        Cheers for that

  • We have a food scraps bin but never use it, food waste goes down the Insinkerator. Seems council are charging in the rates for collection though. Can we give it back and have our rates bill reduced?

    • There was something in the news specifically about this and people complaining its compulsory when they have their own compost bins

    • In Auckland it goes to Watercare's bio-reactor, which partially powers the treatment plant (last time I visited they were planning to expand, to power fully), and I think pumps out fertilizer(???). Maybe they did/still do that even without the bioreactor? It was a complex chart for such a short tour, lol.

  • I phone council this morning and was told there's no charge to upgrade the recycling bin size to 360L, and no change to rates. Ordered an upgrade now, thanks OP

    • Cheers for the feedback. From stinky111 above, it seems the council is telling different people different things.

      But your experience makes we feel a bit better, about the 360L bin I now have (It's pretty rare that I filled the 240L, but thought it would be nice to have 360L for those odd times that I do).

      • I agree, like when theres a good streak of posts going on cheapies and you end up with 5 large boxes arrive in the same week lol

        • +1

          Yip :)

          Could just keep some for the next fortnight, or walk down the street finding other peoples recycling bins that are half empty to put them in, but having a larger bin is just easier.

        • LOL - I had thought almost exactly the same thing!

  • Hi Just wonder who has upgraded bin and able to share a screenshot what it looks like on rates bill. How to tell if you got a bigger bin or standard bin charge. Thanks.

  • How many days after the collection date did all your guys recycle bins arrive?

    • I remember them saying it was 7 days, and it was around 7 business days

    • Still waiting on mine. Only got confirmation it was accepted Tuesday last week. Normal collection was today so hoping less than 7 days

    • Mine was pretty quick. Cant recall exactly, but think about 3 or 4 days…

      • Could be that they came earlier but I didn't have the bin out until my collection day.

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