Did you know that New Zealanders waste over $870 million of edible food every year? It equates to around $560 per family.
Food waste is a big problem. A lot of our household food waste is going to landfill. When organic material is buried in landfill it breaks down in a way that generates methane, a greenhouse gas.
Tauranga does not have a centralised collection and/or composting facility for household organic material.
Try to reduce the amount of avoidable food waste that you throw out. Check out Love Food Haste Waste for ideas about ways to reuse leftovers instead of throwing them out.
Top tips to reduce waste in the home
Prevent food from going off by storing food correctly:
- Bread in the freezer
- Potatoes in a dark place
- Vegetables in a sealed container lined with a paper towel
- Store leftovers in a clear container so people can see what’s inside
- Make an ‘eat me first’ section in your fridge and cupboard
Use older foods and eat leftovers:
- Peel, cut and freeze ripe fruit and use them in smoothies e.g. bananas
- Stew older fruits or use them in crumbles or sauces e.g. apples
- Turn stale bread or bread crusts into croutons, breadcrumbs or toast
- Take your leftovers for lunch, which will save you time and money
Before you go grocery shopping:
- Check your cupboards and plan to use leftover ingredients in new meals
- Plan your meals for the week and make a shopping list
Before you put your groceries away:
- Organise your fridge and cupboards to ensure older foods are visible
- Separate food into portions before putting into the freezer
Before and after cooking your meal:
- Be conscious of correct portion sizes
- Use leftover ingredients in new meals or take for lunch the next day e.g. leftover meat on pizzas
- Freeze excess food e.g. pasta, bread and bananas
Top tips to reduce waste in the first place
- Buy in bulk to avoid excess packaging.
- Buy products with a recycled component or in recyclable packaging
- Use a reusable bag when shopping to avoid plastic bags
- Buy second-hand to extend a product's useable life
Avoidance is the best way to reduce waste. When you are considering purchasing a new item, ask yourself:
- Do you really need to buy that product?
- How will you dispose of the packaging?
- What will you do with the old product?
- Can it be composted?
- Can someone else use it?
Avoid, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle - it all starts with your shopping habits.
Top tips to reuse
- Reuse plastic containers rather than throwing them away
- Use a reusable cup for take away coffee or a reusable drink bottle for water.
- Take your cloth bags to the supermarket rather than plastic bags.
Compost your food scraps at home to keep them from going to the landfill where they can cause adverse environmental effects. There are many systems available for removing organic waste at a household level including worm composting and Bokashi.
Traditional composting factsheet (4.8mb pdf) Worm composting factsheet (6.8mb pdf)
Bokashi composting factsheet (4.4mb pdf)
More information on worm composting workshops
Make less waste. Do more business.
Tauranga City Council is working alongside local businesses to help them measure and reduce waste in their operations. Free advice is available for conducting waste audits and assessments, implementing recycling systems, recommending improvements to existing recycling systems and writing environmental policies.
For more information see Waste Minimisation for Businesses
Last Reviewed: 29/11/2017