Reducing food scraps, one bin at a time: new kerbside collection trial

Published on 09 March 2023

Image shows waste vegetable leaves in a rubbish bin

Palmerston North City Council is rolling out a food scraps collection trial with 14 streets scattered across the city. The five-month trial will see food scrap bins collected each week starting on Wednesday 29 March.

Acting Chief Infrastructure Officer, Bryce Hosking, says the aim of the trial is to explore the effectiveness of a food scraps collection service for the entire city.

“We want to understand the amount of food scraps that could be diverted from landfill through kerbside collections, and to explore how much a service like this would cost and how we could best roll this out to our city, if desired.”

This service will be trialled with 14 streets which have been selected to cover a range of demographics and living situations, to ensure the trial is representative of the wider community.

Mr Hosking says the streets have also been selected to ensure current rubbish and recycling levels of service aren’t affected.

“These streets have their rubbish and recycling collected on Wednesdays, which is typically our least busy day for collections. This means the trial won’t impact too heavily on our current collections.”

Food currently makes up about 13% of Palmy’s waste, with the average household throwing out more than 5kg of food each week. This comes at a huge cost to residents and to the environment.

Mr Hosking says most people think that when food goes to landfill it breaks down on its own, but this is untrue.

“When it goes to landfill it produces methane, a greenhouse gas which is super harmful to our environment. So, once we collect these food scraps, we’ll be putting them to good use.”

Once collected, the food scraps will be taken to the Awapuni Resource Recovery Centre for composting. This compost will then be used in the city’s parks and reserves and be made available to the public.

Each of the households on the selected streets are being sent letters explaining the trial and what it entails. Households can opt out by calling or visiting our Customer Service Centre, or by emailing

There is no cost involved to the participants for the trial.

Following the trial, the results will be analysed and shared with Council for further consideration.

Learn more about the trial