RFID Tagging

Waste Minimisation

In this section

We’re trying to track down all our bins to ensure everyone in the district is getting the service they’re paying for, and we need your help!

As part of improving our service to you we’re progressively updating our register of all the bins in the district. We’re also introducing some smart technology so that if your bin goes wandering, we can more easily reunite it with you.

The project is currently focusing on the CBD zone in Timaru. Any bins missed in the earlier zone tagging will be done individually over the next few weeks.


1. Identify your bin

Please paint or write your business name (if applicable) and address on all your bins just above the serial number on the side. This would be ideally done with waterproof paint or a silver permanent marker, but can be anything really, just make sure it can be clearly seen.

2. Put out your bins as per normal schedule for your weekly pickups

We will have someone checking for RFID tags as the trucks go about their normal routes. If your bin is not tagged when the trucks come around the first few weeks, we will tag them. By 15 November all bins should be tagged, and if there are no tags on a bin after this date, the bin will not be picked up.


Timaru District bins are designed to ensure that everyone in the community is getting the bin services that they are paying for in their rates.This ensures a fair service for all the community. If extra bins that aren’t accounted for are found there is the option of either paying for the additional service through your rates or having the bin removed for free at a later date. Waste minimisation staff will discuss options with you.

What is an RFID tag, and why does my bin need one?

Radio Frequency ID tags are everywhere these days, you’ve probably got a few in your wallet. The one going in your bin is a small plastic device that goes just under the lip of the bin. The only information it contains is the serial number of your bin.

From November our trucks will be able to check in real time whether the bin is at the correct property before emptying it. If there’s no tag, or the bin is somewhere it shouldn’t be, it will not be emptied, and will later be removed.

Why do I need a transmitting device in my bin?

The RFID tag doesn’t transmit all the time, it’s only activated when it’s in close proximity (a few cm) to the receiver on the truck. Most of the time it doesn’t do anything as it doesn’t have its own power source.

Are you moving to a pay-per-use model?

We have no plans to move to a pay-per-use model. Because the Timaru District community has embraced our waste management model, we have created a sustainable and affordable system, and there is no need to change.

How will I know my bin is tagged?

The tag itself is almost impossible to see, you’ll know when your bin is tagged as there will be a reflective orange sticker stuck on the side of the bin.

Do I need to know what bin number I'm meant to have?

Don’t worry about the bin serial numbers, we know bins can move about, as long as you have the set of bins you are rated for. Just write your address on the ones you have, but please leave them behind when you move.

For most people that will be a large green and yellow and a small red.


If you have any questions, please contact our waste minimisation team or customer services on 03 687 7200 or enquiry@timdc.govt.nz.

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021