× Search

COVID-19 information: Tauranga is currently at Alert Level 1. All our facilities and venues are open and services are operating as normal. Find out more.


Talking trash

Talking Trash survey results

We had a great response to the Talking Trash survey, with over 9,000 responses from the community. This shows how passionate our community is about the topic of waste and recycling and we thank everyone who took the time to respond.

See survey results

Let's talk trash


of Tauranga's household rubbish doesn't need to end up in a landfill, it could be recycled or composted instead.

That's an A380 Airbus full of trash, every week.



Organic food scraps struggle to biodegrade in landfill. Deprived of oxygen, they barely break down at all.

A lettuce can take up to 25 years to disappear!



Avoidable landfill waste can take up to a thousand years to fully break down.

From glass to plastic milk bottles, it all adds up.

What we're

We’ve thought of new ways to make it easier to separate household waste that could be recycled or composted, from rubbish that needs to go into landfill. This involves us, Tauranga City Council, taking responsibility for household kerbside collections, which are largely in the hands of private operators.

General recycling

new service

general recycling

A fortnightly wheelie-bin collection.

Paper, cardboard, plastics 1 & 2 (e.g. milk and soft drink bottles) – as well as food and drink cans (tin, aluminium and steel).

Food scraps

new service

food scraps

A weekly food scraps bin - helping you get rid of the smelly stuff, quickly.

Any food scraps, raw or cooked, including fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy, bread, bones and fish, coffee grinds and tea bags.

Glass recycling

new service

Recyclable glass

The current fortnightly glass recycling service will remain the same.

Glass bottles and jars.

Green waste

new service

Green waste

We propose leaving green waste in the hands of the private waste companies, but we're keen to hear your opinion on this.

Garden waste and lawn clippings.


new service


Our existing weekly rubbish bag collection will be replaced with a fortnightly wheelie-bin collection.

This is for unavoidable rubbish, that can't go in food scraps, recycling, glass or green waste bins.

Frequently asked questions

Questions are good. Check here, yours may already be answered.

We’re aiming for our full suite of kerbside collections (food scraps, recycling, glass recycling and rubbish) to be better value than what is currently provided by private operators, however, we won’t know what the final cost of the service is until the tender process has been completed in early 2020. We’re also considering giving residents the choice of different sized/cost wheelie bins for the rubbish and recycling collections.

Currently, the only rates-funded waste related service in Tauranga is the kerbside glass collection at $37 per year.

For rubbish collection, residents currently have two options:

  • purchasing council rubbish bags from the supermarket for the weekly collection
  • contracting a private collection company to pick up their waste and/or recycling.

The council rubbish bag collection service would stop if our proposed new kerbside collection began.

Unfortunately, if we allowed residents to opt-out this would mean the service would become too expensive to introduce city-wide and achieve our overall goal of reducing the amount of household waste going into landfill.

Although many residents have been doing the right thing by reducing the amount of rubbish they send to landfill – unfortunately not enough have been, which is why our city has one of the worst rates per capita in New Zealand for sending household rubbish to landfill.

We have tailored the service to reward those in the community producing less waste overall, by giving households the option of having a smaller/cheaper wheelie-bin for the rubbish and recycling collections.

We're the only major centre in New Zealand that doesn’t provide a rates-funded kerbside collection for all households. Other cities with a similar collection have seen a significant reduction in household rubbish in landfill, benefiting their environment, the community and future generations.

While we are responsible for the service, we will be partnering up with the successful private waste contractor/s from our tender process to benefit from their expertise in delivering the service to the community.

The Council comprehensively delivers waste education programmes in the community on topics such as worm composting, waste-free parenting/living, waste education for schools and businesses, and food waste. Some of these programmes have been running for many years (education in schools for 20 years) and yet we still have our waste problem. Community education is important but it's not the definitive answer to significantly reducing Tauranga’s household waste to landfill. Research shows we must provide a variety of solutions in order to minimise waste to landfill.

We are currently considering whether to provide a green waste collection. Our proposed service doesn’t include a green waste collection after weighing up the pros and cons, e.g.:

  • green waste only contributes 17% of residential waste in landfill, compared with 30% for food waste
  • not all households create garden waste, but all create food waste
  • green waste is already serviced in the current market (unlike food scraps) - residents can take it to their local transfer station, compost it at home or use a green waste service from a private contractor
  • leaving this collection out would reduce the cost of the final service for the ratepayer.

However, if there is strong support from the community that they would like a green waste service, we will consider introducing this service.

The service is expected to start in July 2021. We will give households and operators plenty of notice before this, so they can cancel any existing contracts with private operators well ahead of time of the new service starting.

Councillors will consider the community feedback received and the results of the tender process in March/April 2020 to make the final decision on the final kerbside service to be introduced.

More frequently asked questions

Let's talk impact

Recycling and composting more will make a real difference.

Less food waste in landfill means lower emissions

30% of all household rubbish going to landfill is food waste, which makes a significant contribution to the waste sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. To add to this, the trucks used to currently collect household rubbish also contributes to emissions.

Less trucks and congestion on our roads

A centralised city-wide collection will reduce the amount of trucks on the road on collection days, and the traffic congestion at our transfer stations.

Better for the environment, and our pockets

The costs of managing our city’s waste in landfill are increasing which means we need to send less household waste to landfill. Using less landfill overall means existing landfill sites won’t be filled up as quickly, and therefore new sites won’t be needed as quickly either.

What can you do to help now?

Get a worm farm for your food scraps or compost bin for your green waste

Worm farms and compost bins are relatively cheap options for dealing with food scraps and garden waste. Alternatively, for grass trimmings and garden waste, you can arrange for a private waste service to collect this from your kerbside, or you can take it to the local transfers stations to be professionally composted.

Recycle more, and rinse and lids off your recyclables

Help make recycling easier for the people down the line by rinsing the products and taking the lids off. By doing this, you increase the likelihood of it getting recycled because products containing liquid or food debris can end up getting sent to the landfill.

Buy, and encourage manufacturers to produce, sustainable products

Each purchase you make has an impact on the environment and supports the manufacturers creating that product. Your purchasing habits have the power to create incentives for manufacturers to sell more sustainable products. Take a second to check the product label before you buy – to see if it’s recyclable. Or, better yet, buy less things!

Tell our waste story

Sharing facts and information is an easy way for the community to understand Tauranga’s current waste problem. If everyone made a few small changes, it would make a big impact.

Tauranga City Council, Private Bag 12022, Tauranga, 3143, New Zealand  |  Terms of use  |  Site map

Back To Top