How the community is nailing recycling

Across New Zealand, there’s a renewed interest in reducing waste, reusing objects instead of creating more disposable rubbish, and recycling old things into new things. Local councils and private companies organise recycling runs and sorting centres, but it’s the community initiatives around the country that truly show the spirit of “clean, green New Zealand” is alive and well. Check out some amazing community recycling projects:

Community Recycling Centres (Auckland Council and others)

Run in partnership with community organisations, these recycling centres allow Aucklanders who have waste that can’t go into kerbside recycling to drop their goods. The centres accept whiteware, lawn mowers, furniture, bicycles, books, building supplies, and other bric-a-brac, and have on-site shops where usable items are onsold, with funds going back into the community.

Wanaka Wastebusters (Wanaka)

This innovative community enterprise is doing amazing work providing recycling services in Wanaka and Alexandra, as well as educating in schools and the community about Zero Waste. Some of their initiatives include facilitating education for youth sustainability projects, battling against over-packaging through a fun community Facebook page, and partnering with other local groups such as Plastic Bag Free Wanaka.

Living off the smell of an oily rag (national)

This website contains ideas submitted by New Zealanders all over the country about how to reduce waste and recycle, as well as living thrifty and saving money. It’s an amazing resource and you’ll find many useful tips and tricks to improve your life.

Connecting Good (national)

Connecting Good is an app designed to help everyday consumers impact change in business by informing sustainability decisions with every purchase. The app offers you a way to inform businesses en masse how you want them to tackle issues affecting our planet and its people. The app then bundles together consumer decisions and information to give to registered businesses to help them make more sustainable decisions.


Kaipatiki Org (Auckland)

A vibrant and active community group on the north shore that offer many opportunities to get involved in local initiatives. There’s something on every week, from saving threatened plant species at Hobsonville Point and participating in the Sustainable Whanau Challenge to growing native plants in their community nursery.

Community Fridge (Auckland and Christchurch)

A neighbourhood fridge stocked by the community is an amazing way to ensure less food waste goes to landfill. Anyone can add food, and anyone can take food out, no questions asked. The fridges are often stocked by restaurants who over-cater, leftover work lunches, and those with excess garden produce to offload. Every few days a volunteer cleans out the fridge to ensure the offerings remain edible.


What community initiatives to reduce waste and recycle are available in your community? Can you get involved?