Dog Registration: You may receive delays in receiving a response due to the fact we've received so many enquiries and our system is playing catching up - rest assured, we're working through these requests as quickly as possible. Check out our dog registration page for more information.

Cut your waste

Whakahekea ō para

Help make landfill the last resort, and cut your waste with these simple ideas:

  • The best way to help reduce the amount of rubbish we’re sending to landfill is to prevent waste in the first place.

    That means saying no to unnecessary single-use items like plastic straws and thinking twice before you buy something new.

    Top tips:

    • Refuse single use packaging, by carrying your own cups, drink bottles, take-away containers and reusable bags.

    • Get into DIY – there are plentiful recipes available for making your own cleaning products, beauty products or grocery items. The Rubbish Trip resources are a great place to start.

    • Keep your letterbox free of junk mail by putting a No Junk Mail sticker up. You can get these stickers for free at all Council offices or purchase one from a home supply store like Mitre10. Prefer an electronic version of the Yellow Pages? Don’t forget to opt out of the hard copy.

    • Remember to say no to plastic straws when buying a drink & BYO reusable alternative if needed.

    • Say no to wasteful freebies at events, parties and conferences.

  • The choices you make when you shop are powerful when it comes to cutting waste. Opt for items with the least amount of packaging, or packaging that can be easily recycled in New Zealand. Choose products that are designed to last or that can be repaired or made into something new after use.

    Top tips:

    • Buy only what you need and when you do shop for new goods, buy items that are made to last and be easily repaired.

    • Choose reusable over single-use. Take your own reusable bread bag, produce bags, or containers to avoid single-use plastic packaging.

    • Go for the option with the least packaging. Most local bakeries, farmers markets and even supermarkets have sections with freshly baked goods and produce that are unpackaged. Buying in bulk is another great way to reduce the amount of packaging – starting or joining a co-op is a great way to achieve this.

    • Check what’s recyclable and what’s not in our district here. Where possible make the switch to products packaged in recyclable material. For example, we can't recycle coloured plastic bottles marked 1 (PET), like L&P or Sprite bottles. If you can’t do without an L&P or sprite, try a can or glass bottle – both materials can be infinitely recycled and some would argue it tastes better.

    • Choose recycled content. This will help to ensure supply and demand for recycled materials.

    • Think twice about biodegradable plastics. Learn more about these types of plastics here

    The Rubbish Trip have produced a super Zero Waste Shopping Guide for the Queenstown-Lakes District that provides some options for zero waste shopping.


  • It takes just 30 days to form a new habit so set a goal to carry your reusables, for example your cup and bottle, with you for the next month to make it part of your normal routine.

    Many cafes even offer a discount on coffee if you bring your own cup and some cafes will now let you refill your water bottle free of charge. Check out the Refill NZ website for the list.

    Top tips:

    • Get yourself a library card. This is a really great way to reuse books, music, and movies.

    • Keep a cup and bottle in the car, in your bag, and at the office.

    • Starting a family? Opt for reusable nappies and baby supplies.

    • Many single-use sanitary pads and tampons contain plastic and will potentially never break down in a landfill. Why not give reusable menstrual products a try? As well as being kinder to the environment, they’ll save you a lot of money in the long run. Read more here: Reusable Menstrual Products — Waste Free with Kate & Co

    • Buy second hand. You'll save a lot of money and reuse something someone else didn't want.

    • Get creative and find ways to repair, upcycle and reuse objects that you might otherwise throw away.



  • Don't need it anymore? Find someone who does! Seek out your local reuse shop to donate your goods, or re-sell items online.

    There is a fantastic reuse shop at Wanaka Wastebusters and multiple Salvation Army Family Stores across the district that welcome good quality donations.

  • What you put in your bin matters, not only because our recycling has to meet high quality standards to be processed, but also because there are real people sorting our recycling.

    Find out everything you need to know about our three-bin residential kerbside collection service here.

  • New Zealand families waste about $644 each year on food which is thrown uneaten into the rubbish bin.This adds up to a staggering $1.17 billion for the whole country.

    That’s 157,398 tonnes of edible food going to landfill and generating greenhouse gases.

    We're proud to be part of the national Love Food Hate Waste NZ campaign which aims to turn this around, by inspiring and enabling people to waste less food.

    For practical tips on how to reduce your own food waste and save money visit the Love Food Haste Waste website.

  • Compost your unavoidable food scraps and green waste back into a reusable resources that will replenish your soil.

    We fund the Dr Compost programme to help get you started. Local composting guru, Dr Compost, can help you discover which system could work best for you or help fine-tune your existing composting system. 

    You can get free advice from Dr Compost at events, workshops, or on Facebook. For more information visit the Dr Compost Facebook page or download the online resources here. You can also email your questions to:

    Subsidised Bokashi Bins

    Subsidised Bokashi Bins can be purchased at Council offices or Wanaka Wastebusters.  

    They can be purchased as a single unit or in sets of two at cost price (maximum of four buckets per person/business).

    Single unit price - $28 inclusive of GST
    Set of two price - $56 inclusive of GST (normally $112.00)
    (Each bucket receives a free bag of compost zing as part of the cost).

    Bags of compost zing can also be purchased at cost price of $6.00 per bag inclusive of GST.

    Please note that the subsidised price only applies to Queenstown Lakes residents and you will be required to provide contact details/proof of address on purchase.

    Subsidised Worms

    If you're keen to try worm farming, we subsidise the purchase of worms.   


    • $48 for approx 8,000 worms (normally $96)
    • $25 for approx 4,000 worms (normally $50)


    There is a $9.00 courier charge.

    To purchase the worms get in touch with Rosanna or Robbie Dick at Central Wormworx:

    Phone: 03 445 0263 after 6.00pm or 021 132 2964

  • There are some innovative groups doing exciting work to reduce waste in our district. They hold regular events including waste free fairs, movie nights, workshops, speakers and events.


Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution.  Plastic Free July isn’t about a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly, it's about millions of people doing zero-waste imperfectly.  Even by eliminating one type of plastic from your daily routine, you can make a difference.

Plastic free habits don't have to be limited to just the month of July.  The Plastic Free July website provides resources and ideas to help you (and millions of others around the world) reduce single-use waste everyday at home, work, school, and even at your local cafe.

How you can take part in the challenge

Start by heading over to to take the Pesky Plastics Quiz and understand your current use of single-use plastic

Once you have identified which plastics you can #choosetorefuse from your daily life, sign up for the challenge and make a plastic free pledge. The Plastic Free July website has heaps of resources to help you with the challenge.

For anyone wanting to find stores near them that offer zero waste options for common everyday groceries etc., to help you on your PFJ mission, check out The Rubbish Trip Regional Zero Waste Guides that cover the whole of NZ, including the Queenstown-Lakes District.

For other resources, tips and events, keep an eye on the following Facebook pages:

Videos on how to cut your plastic use

Simple Swaps:

Simple Swaps Clingfilm:

Simple Swaps Bathroom:

How to avoid single-use packaging:

How to avoid four plastics you can't recycle in NZ:

How to avoid plastic #3:

How to avoid plastic #4:

Another way to avoid plastic #4:

How to avoid plastic #6:

How to avoid plastic #7: