Waste Minimisation

Waste Minimisation - Pile of plastic bottles.


This page covers ways to reduce our environmental footprint as individual consumers and households. For information on how to correctly dispose of waste see our What Goes Where page.

One of our key objectives is to improve community understanding of issues and opportunities for minimising and managing waste.

Our Waste Minimisation and Management Plan sets targets for dealing with waste over the next six years and provides an action plan to meet those targets. Targets include:

  • reducing the waste disposed of into the landfill; and
  • recycling at least 40% of the waste collected at the roadside from households and 50% of the waste taken to transfer stations.

Waste Minimisation and Management Plan(PDF, 4MB)

E-Waste Recycling

E-waste (electronic waste items such as televisions, computers, printers, cameras, batteries, and phones) is the fastest-growing type of waste.

It’s among the most toxic to the environment and people’s health if it’s not disposed of properly. E-waste contains valuable elements, such as copper and gold, which can be re-used.

80,000 tonnes of e-waste end up in New Zealand’s landfills every year.


As lithium-ion batteries power more and more of our electronics, they are ending up in our recycling bins, and recycling plants are battling hundreds of battery-caused blazes. A lithium-ion battery in a singing greeting card or discarded e-cigarette pen is enough to spark a flame. 

Most household batteries can be recycled for free at the Foxton Resource Recovery Park. All other E-waste can be taken into the Foxton Resource Recovery Park.

Mobile Phone Recycling

Drop off your broken or unwanted cell phones at:

  • Resene ColorShop (94 Cambridge Street, Levin),
  • the Foxton Resource Recovery Park, where they will be sent to RE:Mobile recyclers.

This programme has saved 548,000 phones, 98.2 tonnes, from landfills.

Love Food Hate Waste

Food waste comprises roughly a third of all household waste of which almost half is avoidable.

In 2018, the average household threw away 164 kg of food per annum, of which 86 kg was avoidable. The average cost per household of discarded avoidable food is around $640 per year. On a national basis this equates to 157,398 tonnes of avoidable food disposed of to landfill, at a cost of $1.17b.

Find out more about the New Zealand Food Waste Audits October 2018 on the Love Food Hate Waste website.

Horowhenua District Council has teamed up with Love Food Hate Waste to provide a meal planner as another resource for minimising waste.

The Easy Choice Family Kai Recipe Book meal planner is the easy choice for feeding your family! The meals are affordable at around $60 a week, healthy (nutritionist-approved) and zero waste. It contains four weekly meal plans, with each week consisting of five dinner meals. Each meal will feed a family of six (two adults and four children under 10) or four adults.

Easy Choice Family Kai Recipe Book (Summer Recipes)(PDF, 5MB)
Easy Choice Family Kai Recipe Book (Spring Recipes)(PDF, 5MB)
Easy Choice Family Kai Recipe Book (Winter Recipes)(PDF, 3MB)
Easy Choice Family Kai Recipe Book (Autumn Recipes)(PDF, 5MB)

Find more recipes and information on ways to reduce your waste on the Love Food Hate Waste website.

ShareWaste NZ

ShareWaste have developed a website and app to allow people to share and recycle their kitchen scraps, in order to promote organic waste as a valuable resource, divert waste from landfills, make gardens greener and help your neighbors. Hosts receive organic waste from donors, to process kitchen scraps into new soil.

You can search your area to either donate your scraps or host on the ShareWaste website, or you can download the app.

Community Fruit & Veg Stand

The Community Hub Fruit and Vegi Stand. The Community Fruit & Veg Stand is a wonderful initiative for the community to share produce from their garden. Levin now has a Community Fruit & Veg Stand at the RSA/Community Hub on 32 Bristol Street.

The stands are primarily for fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as eggs, but they can also take small donations of non-perishable foods, such as preserves or canned goods. Home baking is also accepted, but other cooked food is not. Help yourself to the stand and if you have anything spare from home feel free to drop it off.

Below is a map of all locations of Community Fruit & Veg Stands, created by the Community Fruit & Veg Stands Facebook Group.

Plastic Waste

Recycling changes made easy. Only plastics with the i.d code 1,2,5 are accepted in your curb side recycling. All other plastics are not recyclable in New Zealand. Check the number before you buy, and try to avoid purchasing products with non-recyclable plastics (*3,4,6,7).

This helps us send a message to the government and producers that we do not want these products which have to be disposed of in landfill. 

Lots of pantry staples – from flours, grains and rice, through to condiments, spices, legumes, nuts, seeds and liquid foods – usually come in single-use packets.

“The Rubbish Trip” have prepared a Regional Zero Waste Shopping Guide. Shops listed on this guide stock all manner of pantry foods loose in bulk bins (or operate return and refill systems for their packaging), allowing you to put these goods straight into your own bags, jars, containers and bottles, and skip the packaging.

Repair Café Levin

Repair Café Levin - 32 Bristol St, first Sunday of the month.

Don't toss it - FIX IT!

Save costs, reduce waste, reuse, and learn new skills. Bring along any small broken or damaged item that can be fixed.

The Repair Café is held on the first Saturday of each month at 32 Bristol St, Levin. Find out more about the Repair Café on their Facebook page.

You're encouraged to bring along children’s bikes, scooters, skateboards, and toys, along with any household and garden items, including:

  • electrical items
  • jewellery
  • leather goods
  • small items of furniture
  • broken ornaments and tools
  • clothing: re-sewing hems, replacing buttons, mending tears, darning, and mending knitwear
  • computers, and devices etc.

Event Listing - Monthly Repair Café


Horowhenua District Council is committed to funding various waste-minimisation programmes in schools throughout the region.


Enviroschools is a nationwide programme supported by Toimata Foundation, founding partner Te Mauri Tau, and a large network of regional partners. Early childhood centres and schools commit to a long-term sustainability journey, where tamariki/students connect with and explore the environment, then plan, design and take action in their local places in collaboration with their communities. In the Horowhenua District there are nine Enviroschools.
Find out more on the Enviroschools website.

Zero Waste Education

Zero Waste Education (ZWE) is an award-wining programme funded by Horowhenua District Council that offers 10 Waste Minimisation Education Units from preschool to Year 8. Eighteen schools and five preschools in the Horowhenua District are currently enrolled.

ZWE provide worm farms to schools to demonstrate a valuable method of waste minimisation and soil improvement. Every school lent a worm farm receives ongoing support to ensure your worms have a long and wriggly life.

Contact ZWE to discuss adding Waste Education or Minimisation Programmes to your school or preschool.