Rubbish and recycling

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, check out the Get your rubbish sorted - 2013 guide (PDF 2.2MB).

Looking for a way to recycle something that isn’t 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
  • donate unwanted furniture and goods to charity
  • feel good by giving your items away.

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 courses

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, or attend a free Create your own Eden course to learn about the three main composting systems.

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.

Electronic waste 

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:

  • upgrade
  • 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, visit the Recycler directory website for a list of recycling companies that may accept your electronic waste.

Household hazardous waste

When it comes to clearing out your home and garage, you may find that you have hazardous materials that you can't put out with your rubbish collection. These might include:

  • explosives (fireworks, ammunition and marine emergency flares)
  • flammables (petrol, kerosene, oil and some types of paint)
  • corrosive (strongly acidic and caustic cleaning fluids)
  • chemically reactive (pool chemicals)
  • toxic (garden sprays, rat poison, solvents, and various cleaners)
  • eco-toxic (oil, paint and all kinds of batteries).

Hazardous materials often have labels on the containers such as 'warning', 'danger' or 'caution'.

You can drop off household hazardous waste at any of the facilities below:

All facilities accept many forms of household hazardous waste, but you'll need to call and check what they accept and in what quantities.

The Auckland Council owned facilities won't charge you to drop off household quantities of accepted waste.