Ways to reduce your waste
Every year Aucklanders send 1.2 million tonnes of household and commercial waste to landfill. This amount could cover the rugby field at Eden Park to twice the height of the Sky Tower annually.
We need to find better ways to deal with our waste and to recover and re-use resources.
In our Waste Management and Minimisation Plan our target is to reduce domestic kerbside waste by 30 per cent by 2018.
We need to work together to achieve this. Reducing waste is not difficult; this section gives a number of helpful tips on how you can play your part to reduce your waste.
To find out about what you can and can't put out in your kerbside recycling, use the recycling search.
Looking for a way to recycle something that is not accepted in your kerbside collection? Search the Recycler Directory.
Other ways to reduce waste:
- reuse your plastic bags and containers
- buy items in bulk and avoid packaging you don’t need
- sell, exchange, or donate unwanted furniture and goods
- avoid disposables - take your own reusable cup or drink bottle
- buy items loose and use refills.
Responsible manufacturers may take items back once you have finished with them.
To find out more about product stewardship visit the Ministry for Environment website.
Donate your unwanted goods
These websites will help you with donating your goods:
Freecycle - an online network for giving away used items. A grassroots, non-profit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free.
DonateNZ - helps you donate to charities and community groups.
AskShareGive - an online community where people share their time, skills, transport and old or unused goods.
For other ways to give away unwanted goods, visit:
Food and garden waste
Food and garden waste currently make up around 50 per cent of an average household rubbish, yet it could be put to a range of domestic and commercial uses.
Reduce your food waste
It is estimated that we throw away one-third of all fruit and vegetables we buy. We can all take simple steps to reduce this waste.
Start by buying only as much fresh produce as you need.
If you are a business, donate your leftover food to a charity or food redistribution network.
Composting is nature’s way of recycling and helps to reduce the amount of waste we put out for rubbish collection.
Find out more about composting on the Create your own Eden website.
What else can you do?
- Mulch your lawn clippings and woody waste.
- Sign up to a green waste collection company. Garden waste will not be collected in the regular rubbish collection.
- Recycle your grass clippings by leaving them on the lawn after mowing, to return vital nutrients to the soil. This retains moisture, reduces the number of times you mow and the time it takes to mow. Only cut the top third of the grass each time and consider replanting sections of your lawn with slow growing native ground covers.
Christmas tree disposal
There are several options for disposing of your Christmas tree:
- Ask your Christmas tree seller or garden waste collector if they will take your tree.
- Some Christmas tree farms will take trees (purchased from anywhere), for free, to use for mulch or compost.
- Find a Christmas tree collection service. Check that they collect from your property (not the kerbside) and will put the tree to good use, like mulching or compost.
- You can take Christmas trees to some transfer stations, for a fee.
Electronic waste, or e-waste, refers to anything with a battery or a plug. Valuable and sometimes rare materials can be recovered from e-waste or recycled into new products.
Don’t put e-waste in your inorganic collection as it will go straight to landfill. If possible, try to:
- repair or donate
- find out if there is a take back scheme on the manufacturer’s website
- ask when you next purchase a TV if the brand provides end-of-life recycling as part of the purchase package.
Alternatively, see the Recycler Directory for a list of recycling companies that may accept your electronic waste.