What Council's doing about waste

You've read about how much waste Palmy creates. Now find out what we're doing about it. 

How do we improve things?

Our 2017 Waste Assessment looked across all aspects of waste management in Palmerston North. It identified the main areas where we could improve our effectiveness and efficiencies. These are listed below.

A significant proportion of waste going to landfill is organic waste. Food waste is present across all kerbside rubbish collection systems.

A significantly higher proportion of material that shouldn't be going to landfill comes from households with private rubbish collections. Particularly from those with large bins. This includes green waste, which is insignificant in the Council rubbish bag collection.

Many households use a wheelie-bin service for rubbish rather than Council's bagged service.

Palmerston North lacks facilities to recycle or divert construction and demolition waste. Yet there is a predicted increase in construction activity.

Licensing provisions in the Council waste bylaw are not yet implemented. This means there is little data available on private operator activities and non-Council waste streams.

We have services to manage household hazardous waste. But this is a recent and temporary arrangement.

Community engagement, understanding and awareness of waste issues could be improved further.

More recyclables could be diverted from both domestic and commercial properties.

E-waste collection and processing capacity in the district is better than in many other places. But it still has room for improvement.

Industrial and commercial waste present scope for increased diversion. Paper / card is the main material type currently diverted.

Council's action plan

Our action plan includes 25 activities that we believe will enable us to achieve our vision.


  • Implement the Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw 2016.
  • Consider introducing maximum limits for certain materials in household kerbside rubbish collection. This will help Council set standards and gather data so we can plan and manage waste better.


  • Collect external data through licensing (enabled by the bylaw) and regular surveys.
  • Improve recording and analysis of internal data to enable performance monitoring over time. Consistent, high quality data will help us track our progress.

Education, engagement, communications

  • Increase community engagement and involvement.
  • Carry out one-off campaigns for new services and service changes.
  • Ensure the community is engaged and understands service decisions.
  • Ensure the community is able to make the most of existing and any new or altered services.


  • Maintain kerbside rubbish and recycling.
  • Introduce a kerbside food waste collection. Diverting household food waste from landfill is the single biggest opportunity to increase diversion rates.
  • Encourage garden waste diversion.
  • Extend services provided to non-household customers.
  • Investigate household hazardous waste collections.


  • Maintain Awapuni resource recovery park.
  • Revise recycling drop-off centre provision.
  • Investigate construction and demolition waste diversion services.

This will maintain existing diversion and accommodate growth in the city. And it could potentially provide services for sectors that are currently not well served.

Leadership and management

  • Lobby central government. Various issues such as extended producer responsibility can't be addressed at a Council level.
  • Work more closely with the community. Closer community working will ensure understanding and support of Council's plans.

Find out more

Take a deeper dive into our Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.