Media release

Media release: Otago Mayors release regional picture of waste and recycling

Monday 11 April 2022

The Otago Mayoral Forum is today releasing a report of waste and recycling issues in the region, the first of its kind.

In a recent meeting, the Mayoral forum also gave the go ahead to prepare an outline business case for a more formal partnership between the councils of Otago to manage waste and deliver waste infrastructure over the medium-long term.

The Forum partnered with environmental consultancy Eunomia to produce the analysis, which documents waste and recycling infrastructure, volumes and activity throughout Otago.

The Otago Mayoral Forum is comprised of Otago’s five Mayors and the Chair of the Otago Regional Council, with their Chief Executives.

Forum Chair, Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan, says the report provides a region-wide viewpoint that paves the way to a more coordinated approach to managing waste across Otago.

 “Thinking regionally to address waste makes a lot of sense.  

Traditionally, Otago’s five district and city councils have managed their waste and recycling responsibilities individually on behalf of residents. But for many waste issues, working together could provide the scale we need to do things better.”

While councils are responsible for managing waste, it is households, organisations and businesses that produce it. The report provides a national, regional and local perspective of waste planning, responsibilities, challenges and opportunities, and includes examples of large organisations in the region and how they are tackling waste.

The report documents significant reductions in waste by a diverse range of Otago organisations in recent years, including the University of Otago and Harraways Oats.

Some of the information revealed by the report makes for sober reading, Mr Cadogan said.

“This is not just about councils and organisations. I was concerned to read, just as one example, that an estimated 55% of kerbside rubbish going to Otago’s landfills is organic material and most of this is food waste. We all need to do better.”

Mr Cadogan says the Forum is sharing the report to draw attention to waste issues in Otago and to provide an information resource for councils, waste industry organisations and the community to better understand how to address them.

“We need to work together to reduce waste in Otago, and this report is a step on that pathway.” 

The second phase of the project, taking place later in 2022, will see the Forum work with Eunomia to draw on the analysis and explore how councils can collaborate on waste management, with an initial focus on organic waste, and construction and demolition waste.

Waste and Recycling in Otago has been shared with everyone who contributed to its preparation. Further electronic copies can be obtained by emailing

Mayoral Forum Chair, Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan

Mayoral Forum Chair, Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan.