Disposing of contaminants safely

It is illegal for anything other than rainwater to go into stormwater drains. If wastewater or other liquid household wastes get into the stormwater drain, they will pollute streams, aquifers or the sea.

If you see somebody dumping waste into the stormwater drain, call us on 04 527 2169, or call the Greater Wellington Regional Council Pollution Hotline 0800 496 734.

What should you do with contaminants?

There are plenty of options for you to safely dispose of contaminants, helping to keep our rivers, streams and the sea healthy.


Leave small amounts of unwanted paint to dry in the tin, then dispose of the tin with your household rubbish. For large amounts of unwanted paint, take it to the recycling centre at the landfill or to the Dulux and Resenes paint recycling service. Pour wash water or thinners from paint cleaning down the laundry sink or sewer gully.


The Dulux Trade Centre is located at 28 Rutherford Street, Lower Hutt (04 566 1160). Residents can take up to 20 litres of water-based or oil-based Dulux paint for FREE recycling. For non Dulux paint there is a charge of 25 cents a litre. For larger and commercial quantities additional charges apply.


The Resene Colour Shop is located at 1036 Fergusson Drive, Cnr Fergusson Drive and Montgomery Crescent (04 526 4946). Residents can take up to 20 litres of water-based or oil-based Resene paint for FREE recycling. For non Resene paint there is a charge of $1 for a 4 litre can and $2.50 for a 10 litre pail or larger. For larger and commercial quantities additional charges apply.  For more information check Resene’s website.

Paint fragments / and paint stripper

Sweep paint scraps up with a broom, then dispose of them with your household rubbish. If using a water blaster, try to stop scraps entering the drain. When using paint stripper, remove residues with a rag and then wash off the stripped surface into a container. This can be disposed of at the landfill or stored and dropped off at Upper Hutt’s annual Hazardous Waste Collection Day in October.

Used engine oil and radiator water

Ask your local garage if they accept used oil for recycling, if they don’t, check with your local council. Otherwise, put it in a sealed container and take it to the hazardous wastes area of the landfill or store it until the annual hazardous waste collection in October. Radiator water should also be treated as hazardous waste.

Oil spills and leaks

Mop up with rags, sand or soil. Remove residual oil with some bleach or detergent, and then soak that up with rags. Dispose of any waste with your household rubbish. Don’t hose it away because even a small amount of oil will cause a problem when it reaches our water ways.

Wash water from cleaning your car

Minimise the amount of detergent you use. Wash your car on the lawn or at a car wash, rather than on the road or driveway where wastewater can go down the gutter into the stormwater system and straight to our waterways.

Waste cement or concrete

For small quantities, pour wet cement or concrete onto soil and let it harden as small lumps. These can be disposed of with your household rubbish. Larger quantities can be buried in your garden, or taken to the landfill.

Driveway, path and yard sweepings

Collect the sweepings and add them to your compost or dispose with your household rubbish. Don’t hose rubbish from your property onto the street or down the drain.