The New Zealand metal recycling industry encompasses a range of businesses involved in the collection, processing, re-processing and export of metals.

Metals are infinitely recyclable, but often require processing to remove non-metallic components. The industry handles metal items of all types – it is a common misconception that the only metal items which can be recycled are those which are accepted in municipal kerbside collections.

Most recyclers offer a drop-off facility for the public to recycle their metals; depending upon weights and market prices at the time, most customers are paid for the items they bring in to recycle.

Metals are valued commodities which trade internationally. In calendar year 2022, AMR members processed over 842,000 tonnes of metal in their service of communities across NZ.  630,628 tonnes were exported from New Zealand. (Processing is part of the value chain with some processing occurring before materials are on-sold to the final exporter.)

For dry cargo (non refrigerated), NZ has an import to export imbalance. The industry assists this by making use of the oversupply of containers in depots which reduces the number of empty containers that shipping companies must return at their own cost. Getting paid both ways helps keep the import freight rates down. Without a significant amount of return cargo, many shipping companies will avoid sending cargo to NZ and all imported goods will further increase in price.

Our President, Glen Jacobs, is the spokesperson for AMR. You can reach him by email on

Our previous media releases:

Register for Convention 2024

03 Apr 2024

An optional morning tour programme will visit Parliament and member company, Macaulay Metals.

The conference programme includes presentations on:

  • Maintaining a mobile shear
  • Insurance for the metal recycling industry
  • The chain of responsibility for transport
  • Drug and alcohol testing in the workplace

Plus the Annual General Meeting  (members only), networking events on both nights of the convention, a live auction to support the Association and a pub-style quiz with prizes to the highest-scoring teams

Register Here.


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