Rethinking Waste

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

What is waste and how should we deal with it?

Over the coming months, we will be having a series of community conversations to consider the big questions and potential opportunities around waste minimisation.

We want to raise awareness about the problems created by current waste disposal practices and what can be done by individuals and communities to bring about change.


Kerbside Recycling

You may ask why can't we return to the kerbside wheelie bin collection system?

In the waste hierarchy recycling and landfilling are the two least desirable methods for managing materials. Reducing the use of materials, reusing, repairing, and repurposing are better outcomes.

The Government has realised our country's recycling system isn't the best and is proposing changes to make recycling easier and better. It is currently consulting on ways to minimise waste, improve recycling, and reduce emissions from waste.

You can learn more about the Government's proposals using this link.

We talk more about our former collection system in our FAQs.


Did you know?

  • Aotearoa New Zealand is one of the highest waste per capita countries in the OECD and the 10th most wasteful country in the world (World Bank)
  • The Government's levy on waste will increase to $60 per tonne over the next three years (it was $10p/t in 2019)
  • In NZ we can only recycle three of the seven types of plastics - Plastics 1 (PET), 2 (HDPE) and 5 (PP) grocery packaging only


Get Involved

If you haven't already registered on Let's Talk, simply click on the Sign Up button to get started. You will have access to all the tools and updates as we work through this campaign.

Tell Us Your Story

There will be a number of opportunities for you to share your thoughts about how we can deal with waste. To get the conversation started we would love to hear your stories.

  • What are your waste busting successes, frustrations or challenges?
  • If you live in the country, what's the hardest thing to 'throw away?'
  • Can you relate to any of our team - Farmer Bill, Mum Fiona, Mechanic Tania or Tradie Raniera?

Go to the tab below Tell Us Your Story and we will share it on this page.

Ask Our Expert

We all have questions about waste - e.g what is the waste levy and why is it increasing?

We have sustainability and waste recovery expert Dr Niki Bould leading this project and she would love to answer your questions. Just use the Ask Niki tab below.

Join the Focus Group

Another of the initial steps is setting up a focus group to be the community connection with the Council’s Waste Minimisation Working Party, established last year.

If you want to be involved in the group please register your interest using the form below. Or you can email Niki at info@ahika.co.nz

Expressions of interest close on Friday 25 March.

What is waste and how should we deal with it?

Over the coming months, we will be having a series of community conversations to consider the big questions and potential opportunities around waste minimisation.

We want to raise awareness about the problems created by current waste disposal practices and what can be done by individuals and communities to bring about change.


Kerbside Recycling

You may ask why can't we return to the kerbside wheelie bin collection system?

In the waste hierarchy recycling and landfilling are the two least desirable methods for managing materials. Reducing the use of materials, reusing, repairing, and repurposing are better outcomes.

The Government has realised our country's recycling system isn't the best and is proposing changes to make recycling easier and better. It is currently consulting on ways to minimise waste, improve recycling, and reduce emissions from waste.

You can learn more about the Government's proposals using this link.

We talk more about our former collection system in our FAQs.


Did you know?

  • Aotearoa New Zealand is one of the highest waste per capita countries in the OECD and the 10th most wasteful country in the world (World Bank)
  • The Government's levy on waste will increase to $60 per tonne over the next three years (it was $10p/t in 2019)
  • In NZ we can only recycle three of the seven types of plastics - Plastics 1 (PET), 2 (HDPE) and 5 (PP) grocery packaging only


Get Involved

If you haven't already registered on Let's Talk, simply click on the Sign Up button to get started. You will have access to all the tools and updates as we work through this campaign.

Tell Us Your Story

There will be a number of opportunities for you to share your thoughts about how we can deal with waste. To get the conversation started we would love to hear your stories.

  • What are your waste busting successes, frustrations or challenges?
  • If you live in the country, what's the hardest thing to 'throw away?'
  • Can you relate to any of our team - Farmer Bill, Mum Fiona, Mechanic Tania or Tradie Raniera?

Go to the tab below Tell Us Your Story and we will share it on this page.

Ask Our Expert

We all have questions about waste - e.g what is the waste levy and why is it increasing?

We have sustainability and waste recovery expert Dr Niki Bould leading this project and she would love to answer your questions. Just use the Ask Niki tab below.

Join the Focus Group

Another of the initial steps is setting up a focus group to be the community connection with the Council’s Waste Minimisation Working Party, established last year.

If you want to be involved in the group please register your interest using the form below. Or you can email Niki at info@ahika.co.nz

Expressions of interest close on Friday 25 March.

What's your rubbish question?

Dr Niki Bould, from Dunedin-based Ahikā Consulting, is a sustainability and waste recovery expert. She has worked on several projects, helping others understand what a low carbon economy, a resilient community or zero waste means for them.

What she doesn't know about rubbish isn't worth knowing. So, if you have a question but didn't know who to ask, Niki is your go to person.  

You need to be signed in to add your question.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    hi Nikki heard your interview with Cave FM yesterday, was a great introduction to your work but my question is, what or how do we reduce landfill when the council are not looking for alternatives, unless it is a contract with a 3rd world country to take our rubbish? I do not understand how we can burn off at the Tiwai AlluminI'm plant but cannot locally find anything close to burn off our excess plastics? Recycling is a great initiative but with the Pacific garbage island growing textile or clothing over abundance and landfills filling, what do kiwis see as alternative reality not just dreams. I finished my degree in Environmental Management 2019 and have been watching the growing litter around parks and streets. I noticed a lack of bins in these areas but when consulting with parks dept was told people needed to learn to take it home with them. Well hello look around Macdonald or the supermarkets, K Mart Warehouse, rubbish everywhere and just blowing in the wind. Years ago those on Periodic detention would clean up these areas but that service has gone citing wages cost to much, but the rubbish keeps coming what is the solution education? Well approaching local schools which have copious amounts of rubbish stuck in plantings and fences and mainly food wrappings again the schools have taken away bins saying students will learn but they don't they just drop it where is so education ain't working. Kiwis then have to be lazy polluters at number 10 worst at rubbish. No easy answer but ignorance from and on every level.

    Debb asked 5 months ago

    Thanks for your question.  I understand your concern about materials all heading off to other countries to be managed.  You obviously know that a lot of our unrecyclable material was being sent overseas but in 2017 China’s National Sword policy stopped that from happening.  This is exactly why your Council has not pursued recycling only, your Council believes there is a better way of managing waste.  

    Firstly, it is working with your community to understand why reducing our consumption and wanting to re-use, re-purpose and repair our “stuff” is a much better approach. We can provide jobs for people in repairing what would have been “thrown away”. Then, once we have done everything we can to be conscious of the materials we use, and reduce what we “throw away”, then we can carefully clean and separate what is left … but then what do we do with these materials? Can we do something with it here in NZ? Is it valuable to us? Why can’t we make it valuable to us and create something else from it?

    These are the questions we want to put to you, the community, to help us come up with new ideas and better solutions. Would you like to join the community discussions? Contact us at info@ahika.co.nz to join in the conversation.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why do we allow so much plastic to come into our town, why don't we discourage it from coming here in as the first step? Can local council impose a tax on businesses that use plastic with there products? Could Gore be first town in NZ to do this? Wouldn't this be a better way to manage waste instead of trying to dispose of it?

    na asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question, this is exactly why we have opened this conversation with our community. Unfortunately, the Council can’t just decide to impose a tax on materials coming into the town. However, if enough people from the community wanted us to impose a tax on materials coming into the town then we would have to start looking at it more seriously.

    Before anything could be done we would have to think about such questions as:

    • What does it mean?
    • How would a tax be imposed?
    • Who would manage the planning and implementation of such a tax?
    • Who would pay for the work to plan, cost out and implement such a tax?
    • How much would it cost?
    • Who would ensure the tax is paid?
    • How could it be paid?
    • What happens if businesses didn’t pay the tax?
    • Where would the money from the tax go?

    The fact you have raised this question gives us hope that more people in the community want the same thing. Wouldn’t it be more amazing if it became mandated by the people of Gore? If the businesses got together themselves and made the decision that Gore was special, that we wanted to be the first in the country to make the decision to stop unnecessary plastics coming into our community.

    If it was community driven, would be much easier and cheaper, and would mean the community has really understood why we need to rethink waste and is pushing for change.

    The influence of change is much further reaching (so more and more people talk about why we need to reduce rather than throw away) than just being told you have to do something.

    Please sign up to our focus group meetings, we really need thinkers like you bringing up fantastic solutions of how to rethink waste.

Page last updated: 18 Mar 2022, 07:50 AM