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Waste and recycling

Waste and recycling

Updated 29 April 2022 11:07am

Waste that is poorly managed is bad for the environment, our health, and our economy. The successful management of waste is therefore crucial to our ability to live in a sustainable way.

In the Wellington region the responsibility for the management of waste is shared between city and district councils and Greater Wellington. Local councils collect and dispose of solid waste, operating landfills throughout the region and promoting waste reduction and recycling. Contact your city or district council for more information on these services and on ways to reduce your waste or recycle it. They can also direct you to the private waste collectors in your area.

Greater Wellington’s functions in relation to solid, liquid and gaseous waste are set out on this page.

Encouraging safe waste disposal

We encourage the environmentally sound disposal of waste, and have set up a policy and regulatory framework that all waste disposers need to abide by. The environmental outcomes we want to see in relation to the region’s waste are set out in the Regional Policy Statement. Regional plans for air qualityfresh water, the coast and discharges to land contain policies and rules to direct how wastes can be disposed of safely. Some waste management activities (like operating a landfill or an incinerator) require resource consents, and the requirements for these are set out in these plans.

Cleaning up pollution incidents

Our Environmental Protection Team responds to pollution in the region 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Find out more about this service, and contact us on 0800 496 734 to report a pollution incident.

Encouraging waste reduction

Business and industrial activities usually generate solid waste (like waste paper and plastic) and some of their activities can pollute land or water. We have created Take Charge to help small and medium sized business take control of the pollution aspects of their operations. This is a free service.

If you are a householder or community group that is looking for free stuff or wanting to donate stuff for free, the following websites could be very useful:  FreecycleTrade & Exchange, and DonateNZ.

We’re doing our bit

At Greater Wellington we are working hard to reduce our waste. We have set up a waste reduction scheme for our offices which has lead to a marked increase in recycling and less waste going to the landfill. Our scheme has been used as a model for other private and public sector organisations. Our aim is to reduce our waste by half.

Cross-council initiatives

As a region we have a responsibility to better manage and minimise our waste. This responsibility is enforced through The Waste Minimisation Act (2008) and implemented by councils through a joint regional Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2012-17. The Wellington Region Waste Minimisation Education Strategy is an output of the WMMP. The Strategy was developed collaboratively and has the support of all the region’s councils. It is one of 19 regional actions which collectively seek to reduce waste to landfill and ensure that the Wellington region is doing its part towards its waste related social, economic, cultural and environmental responsibilities.