Reducing your waste

There are a number of things you can do to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to the landfill.

Last year 286,842 tonnes of waste was sent to the Kate Valley Regional Landfill from transfer stations in Christchurch City, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Selwyn and Ashburton Districts.

Waimakariri District, with 11% of the contributing population, sent 16,136 tonnes to Kate Valley - only 6% of the quantity. This averages to around 690 kg per person in the one-year period. However, we can still improve those figures by reducing the amount of waste being generated and sent to landfill.

Landfilled waste is not reprocessed or recycled, and does not break down over time. Disposing of waste at landfills is a sign that we are not using our resources efficiently, and are contributing directly to pollution.

One avoidable component of a households waste is food waste.LFHW-Logo-proud-to-support-green

It is a hidden scandal that costs New Zealand $872 million a year and Canterbury's contribution towards this totals around $115 million.

New Zealand families waste about $560.00 each year on food which is thrown uneaten into the rubbish bin. It is also results in 122,000 tonnes of edible food going to landfill and generating greenhouse gases. This could feed entire population in the Waimakariri District for more than 4 years (based on an average intake of 1.2kg per person per day)

The One Planet eBook has been put together as a Canterbury-wide project and offers a one-stop shop for a vast range of information, videos and links on waste and its issues.

Reducing your household waste

There are a number of ways you can reduce the amount of waste that comes from your household, and a good many of these are easy and cheap to do. For example:

  • Choose products with little or no packaging
  • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging
  • Use cloth nappies, not disposables, where feasible
  • Put a 'no circulars', 'no junk mail' or 'no ad mail' sticker on your letterbox (you can pick up an 'Ecomailbox No Ad Mail' sticker from a Council service centre, or the Southbrook Resource Recovery Park)
  • Learn ways to reduce household food waste by following the National Food Waste Prevention Campaign - Love Food Hate Waste.

If you live inside the district's collection area, you can put paper and cardboard, plastic containers (all plastic types except for expanded polystyrene foam), supermarket carry bags, glass bottles and jars, aluminium cans and steel tins, TetraPak drink and milk cartons in the recycling wheelie bin. Read more information on the Kerbside collections page.

If you live outside the district's collection area, you can take separated paper, cardboard, plastic containers (all plastic types except for expanded polystyrene foam), supermarket carry bags, glass bottles and jars, aluminium cans and steel tins, TetraPak milk cartons and much more to Oxford Transfer Station or Southbrook Resource Recovery Park.

Make use of services offered for diverting waste, for example some private bin collection companies offer a green waste bin at a discounted price (check out the Yellow Pages for services).

The Council is a partner in the Sustainable Living Education Trust (SLET), which gathers and provides useful information for action - the practical stuff in NZ that you need to know to 'make a difference' in a better way. Sustainable Living Courses may be available in this district or in Christchurch on an ongoing basis. Visit the Sustainable Living website to find out how you can make a difference.

Composting at home

You can compost your food scraps and garden waste at home (and grow your vegetables and fruits with that compost to save on shopping bills). You could build your own worm farm or compost bin (there are instructions on building a worm farm out of car tyres in the One Planet eBook). The Council sells Bokashi buckets and CompostZing at its service centres and the ReSale Store (Southbrook Resource Recovery Park), and also sells Earthmaker compost bin kits at the ReSale Store, all at discounted prices. Prices are on our Rubbish and recycling fees and charges page.

Reducing your school waste

You can find information on reducing waste at your school on the Reducing your school waste page.

Reducing your business waste

The Waimakariri District Council allocates some funding each year to support local businesses to become more sustainable. This funding enables Waimakariri businesses to make use of Christchurch City Council’s Target Sustainability project group. Contact us to find out how you can apply for a Target Sustainability Assessment.

Simple tips for waste minimisation in the workplace

  • Print double-sided onto paper whenever possible
  • Reuse your one-sided paper as scrap paper, and reuse envelopes for internal communications
  • Think about the packaging that your office or cafeteria brings in. Try to buy products with recyclable packaging and minimal packaging, buy in bulk to reduce packaging, and see if your suppliers will remove materials such as plastic wrap, strapping etc. for recycling
  • Buy products made of recycled materials
  • Encourage the use of reusable bottles, cups and plates by your staff
  • Recycle all that you can by using commercial recycling companies to recycle large quantities of paper or cardboard, with our kerbside collections
  • Send your printer or photocopier toner cartridges to be recycled
  • Recycle old computer equipment and other electronic equipment. Some companies take back the old computers when they upgrade them.

Reducing your farm waste

A great quantity of waste materials can be generated during the operation of a farm, materials which have been difficult or costly to dispose of in the past.

There are now alternatives to dumping or burning plastic farm waste, by recycling them through accredited voluntary product stewardship schemes. Plasback and Agrecovery both run recycling schemes for a number of different types of farm plastics, and Agrecovery also runs an agrichemical take-back scheme for unwanted or expired farm chemicals.