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 the Covid-19 interrupted year of 2020, 600,000 tonnes of metal were exported from New Zealand. These exports earned $370 million. Prior to Covid, the industry diverted 740,000 tonnes of metals valued at $428 million.  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 elected President, Joe Gibson, is the spokesperson for AMR. You can reach him by email on

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Register for Convention 2023

19 Apr 2023

Our conference theme this year is Economic Challenges & Resilience.

We open our conference with an optional yard tour programme.  Our keynote speaker is economist Cameron Bagrie who is sure to impress.

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