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Waste and recycling

Reducing your waste

Reducing waste is part of Westland District's strategy under the Waste Minimisation and Management Plan.

We want to discourage activities like fly-tipping and encourage more thoughtful use of our resources. 

It is important to reduce waste wherever we can. As the cost for landfill disposal increase, sending less waste to landfill saves money both to consumers and ratepayers.

Reducing waste at home

Follow the 4 C's to reduce waste in your home.

Greenwaste of plant matter, other than flax, bamboo, cabbage tree leaves, tree stumps or branches greater than 75mm diameter is accepted at the transfer station.


Composting is a great way to get rid of food scrap, paper and cardboard, garden waste and lawn clippings - with the bonus that you eventually get a really useful product to reuse on your garden!

Basic materials to build a compost can be:

  • Flexible mesh and stakes that can form a circle.
  • Wood pallets, fencing or sturdy materials to form a 3 sided square / rectangle.
  • Container with airholes

Cover a heap with a tarp, old carpet or plywood.

Want to give composting a go but not quite sure how to get started?

Check out this beginners guide to composting video made by our friends at Nelson City Council! 


Bokashi composting uses a selected group of microorganisms to ferment organic waste. It’s odour-free and very fast – usually taking less than two weeks.

Basic materials to build a bokashi bin are:

  • 2 buckets
  • 1 lid
  • bran, rice, dried leaves, sawdust, or wheat mill run

Worm farming

Worm farming is a great way to deal with your food scraps and can be done all year round, both inside and out. It’s cheap and easy to get started, perfect for people who have limited space, and produces a rich compost for the garden.

Basic materials to build a worm farm are:

  • Worm bin or tower
  • Worm bedding
  • Worms
  • Food scraps

Cooking at home saves you money, reduces waste and can improve your health. Get creative with leftovers and what is in your pantry. Encouraging your children to cook with you teaches valuable life-long skills.

Some ideas for cooking are:

Low or zero waste 

Cooking with kids

Reduce the amount of recyclables you bring home when out and about. This will also help to minimise the amount of waste that is thrown away.  

Some ideas for considerate shopping are:

  • Plan your meals - this way you purchase less (saving money), know what you are going to use and can purchase less packaged items if possible, and reduce how much time you spend in the supermarket. Have a look at this useful planning guide.
  • Choose packaging that can be recycled or takes up less room in the recycling bin.
  • Make homemade versions of things you would typically buy, for instance biscuits and yoghurt.
  • Use reusable jars for storage and transport.

Use what you can from your waste and recycling to craft something new, it could be as simple as painting a tin can to create a storage container or as complicated as upcycling an old tyre into a seat.

Waste reduction resources

There are many resources available to learn about what you can do to reduce waste. 


Online resources

Reducing waste when out and about

Follow the 6 R's to reduce waste at home and out and about.

Don't take single-use items such as straws, or hard to recycle items such as polystyrene and soft plastics.

Instead of taking a single-use cup or water bottle, bring your own reusable cup and water bottle. Take your own produce and carry bags when shopping, or leave your produce naked and put it into your shopping bag loose.

Find reusable options Instead of glad wrap and foil, such as beeswax wraps, ‘naked’ lunchboxes with compartments, storage containers, and bowl covers for food leftovers.

Reduce the soft plastics you send to landfill by choosing loose produce at the supermarket, or products sold in paperboard boxes or recyclable (1, 2 & 5) plastic containers.

Take a reusable cup, water bottle, bags, straw and take away container with you when you’re out.

Donate items in good condition to an op-shop for reuse by others. Clean, good quality household goods and textiles can be donated.

Recycle any paper, cardboard, tins, cans and hard plastic containers with 1, 2 & 5 in a triangle. 

Set up a compost at home to also compost food scraps, green waste, tissues, and home compostable packaging.

Zero waste

What is Zero Waste?

Aims to eliminate rather than “manage” waste.

  • Is a whole system approach that aims for a massive change in the way materials flow through society – resulting in NO WASTE.
  • Is both an end of pipe solution which encourages waste diversion through recycling and resource recovery, and a guiding design philosophy for eliminating waste at source and at all points down the supply chain.
  • Is a unifying concept or “brand” for a basket of existing and emerging technologies aimed at the elimination of waste.
  • Resets the compass with new tools and new ways of thinking so that normal, everyday activities contribute to the answer rather than the problem.
  • Redesigns the current, one-way industrial system into a circular system modelled on Nature’s successful strategies.
  • Helps communities achieve a local economy that operates efficiently, sustains good jobs, and provides a measure of self-sufficiency.
  • Maximises recycling, minimises waste, reduces consumption and ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace.
  • Is a powerful new concept that enables us to challenge old ways of thinking and inspires new attitudes and behaviour – the hallmarks of a breakthrough strategy.

Is it possible to achieve Zero Waste?

At first, Zero Waste seems impossible. How can we expect to eliminate all waste and, if we could, wouldn’t it be prohibitively expensive? Even if we could afford it, where would we start?

Fortunately, Zero Waste isn’t something that we need to invent from scratch. After all, it builds on the longest running, most successful Zero Waste model of all – nature. Even in our human-made world, many of the building blocks are already in place, with many successful models throughout the world.

Zero Waste is a goal – like the manufacturing goals of Zero Emissions, Zero Accidents and Zero Defects – or like the ‘Smoke Free’ and ‘Nuclear Free’ campaign goals. All of these were adopted as ‘impossible’ targets at the beginning but have since proved their worth by dramatically changing industry and society.