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, and identified the main areas where we could improve our effectiveness and efficiencies.

  • A significant proportion of waste going to landfill is organic waste, with food waste present across all kerbside rubbish collection systems.
  • There's a significantly higher proportion of material that shouldn't be going to landfill in rubbish from households with private wheelie-bin collections (particularly those with large bins), including green waste which is insignificant in the Council rubbish bag collection.
  • Many households use a wheelie-bin service for rubbish rather than use the Council-provided bagged service.
  • Lack of facilities to recycle or otherwise divert construction and demolition waste, in particular with a predicted increase in construction activity.
  • Licensing provisions in the Council waste bylaw are not yet implemented, so there is little data available on private operator activities and non-Council waste streams in general.
  • While there are services to manage household hazardous waste, 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, while better than many areas, still has room for improvement.
  • Industrial and commercial waste generally presents scope for increased diversion, with paper/card 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, and 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 data externally 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 where necessary such as for a new service, or significant service change. Ensure the community is engaged and understands service decisions; and 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, encourage garden waste diversion, extend services provided to non-household customers. Investigate household hazardous waste collections. Diverting household food waste from landfill is the single biggest opportunity to increase diversion rates.


Maintain Awapuni resource recovery park, revise recycling drop-off centre provision, investigate construction and demolition waste diversion services. This will maintain existing diversion, accommodate growth in the city, and potentially provide services for sectors that are currently not well served.

Leadership and management

Lobby central government, and work more closely with the community. Various issues such as extended producer responsibility can not be addressed at a council level, however Council can lobby central government. 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.