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Reducing your waste

Council is committed to recycling and reusing as much of our waste as possible, reducing the amount we send to landfill.

By reducing your rubbish you can:

  • Reduce demands on natural resources.
  • Reduce the amount of material sent to landfills.
  • Reduce disposal costs for ratepayers.
  • Save money on weekly grocery bills (products with less packaging cost less).
  • Use products you’ve recycled yourself, such as compost and paper, instead of buying them.

Take a look at the Wasted Video Series below to learn more about our key waste streams here in NZ including Recycling, Waste Water and Landfill.

Plastic Phase-Out from 1 October 2022

Plastic is one of our greatest environmental challenges. It regularly ends up as waste in our landfills, our moana and whenua. Difficult to recycle packaging and products can interfere with our recycling systems and are often used only once before being disposed.

From 1 October 2022 it will be illegal to provide, sell or manufacture certain hard-to-recycle and single use plastic products in Aotearoa New Zealand. These are:

  • Single use plastic drink stirrers
  • Single use plastic cotton buds
  • Plastics with pro-degradant additives (eg. some bin liners, dry cleaning bags and pet waste products)
  • PVC food trays and containers used for products including meat, fresh produce or baked goods
  • Polystyrene takeaway food and beverage packaging (eg. takeaway containers and cups)
  • Expanded polystyrene food and beverage packaging including food serviceware and grocery products (eg. instant noodle containers).

 to find out more, head to the Ministry for the Environment website:

Plastic phase-outs: guidance for sellers and manufacturers of products banned from 1 October 2022 | Ministry for the Environment

Easy steps to reduce your rubbish

The following steps can help reduce what ends up in your rubbish bag each week:

  • Buy products that use less packaging (economy size, refills or concentrates).
  • Buy products packaged in recyclable material, such as paper, cardboard, glass, aluminium, tin or plastic containers – not plastic film.
  • Avoid or reduce the use of disposables (razors, pens, plates and cups).
  • If you’re only buying one or two items, ask for no bag and bring your own cloth bags to the supermarket for groceries.
  • Buy products with recycled content in them — this means fewer natural resources are used, and there is less waste produced in the long run.
  • Re-use boxes and jars for storage, and keep wrapping paper and ribbons for future use.
  • Think before you throw something away — donate re-usable toys, books and clothing to charities or your local ‘Op Shop’.
  • Take old appliances, furniture and bikes to a second-hand shop rather than the transfer station.
  • If you have a garden, you can compost your grass clippings and tree prunings as well as fruit and vegetable scraps.

Reducing Food Waste

The average household throws out 79 kilos of food a year, in Masterton that adds up to 751 tonnes…the same as one and a half A380 jumbo jets! That is a cost of $872 million for the whole country and Masterton contributes about $5.3 million towards this.

We are proud to be part of the national Love Food Hate Waste NZ campaign which aims to turn this around by helping people waste less food. For practical tips on how to reduce your own food waste and save money visit the Love Food Hate Waste NZ website.

Reducing waste at events

Working to minimise the waste from your event from the earliest planning stages means that you don’t have to deal with it at the end, and can benefit your event in many ways – including having less impact on our environment, improved public relations, happier attendees, compliance with Council guidelines, and a safer, tidier site.

Learn practical ways to take responsibility for waste generated at events by reading the Wellington Regional Event Waste Reduction Guide.

Event organisers, stallholders and food and drink vendors can find ways to reduce waste generated through their products and services in the Wellington Region Event Packaging Guidelines.

The Waste Minimisation (Plastic Shopping Bags) Regulations 2018 came into force on 1 July 2019. Retailers are no longer be able to sell or give out single-use plastic shopping bags. For more information on what this means for your business visit the Ministry for the Environment’s website.

Wasted Video Series

Wasted New Zealand is an educational video series that takes you on a journey through our key waste streams here in NZ including Recycling, Waste Water, Food Waste and Landfill.

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