New Zealand generates more than 17 million tonnes of waste every year. That’s about 3,300 kilograms for each person in the country. Almost 13 million tonnes of this waste end up in landfills, so only a third of the waste produced by our country is recycled.

We all need to take responsibility for the rubbish we create. We’ve set out rules for waste minimisation for Otago in our Regional Plan: Waste. 

Waste disposal and recycling services operate throughout the region. Check the facilities available near you and help reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill. Your city or district council has information about recycling services available in your area. 

Reducing waste will help us transition from a take, make, dispose approach to a circular economy that lowers greenhouse gas emissions. 

"Today’s economy is massively wasteful. Most of the materials we use, we lose, the things we make are consistently under-utilised, and our efforts to fix it treat the symptoms, not the cause."(Andrew Morlet, expert on the circular economy) 


Linear and circular economy chart
A linear economy has a take, make, dispose approach with energy from finite sources. A circular economy has a make, use, return cycle with energy from renewable sources. (Source: Ministry for the Environment)


Page last updated 21 June 2024.