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Waste Minimisation Community Fund

Ngā pūtea whakaheke para ā-hapori

Do you have a great idea for a project that will help move our community towards zero waste? You might be eligible for funding through our Waste Minimisation Community Fund. Projects must be consistent with the Waste Minimisation and Management Plan 2018 (WMMP) and achieve the following objectives:

 Waste Reduction – Reducing waste at source and/or,
 Resource Recovery – Diverting waste from landfill

The aim is to support new initiatives that complement and enhance existing programmes, address gaps or create new opportunities. 

Applications for the Waste Minimisation Community Fund closed on Friday 17 May 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

We encourage all potential applicants to first read our FAQ section ahead of applying to the WMCF, to ensure they have all the information they need ahead of making their application.

  • Inspire us with your great idea to rethink, reduce or reuse! Projects must be consistent with the QLDC Waste Minimisation and Management Plan and achieve the following objectives:

    • Waste reduction – reducing waste at source and/or,

    • Resource recovery – diverting waste from landfill

    We’re looking to support projects that shift us towards a circular economy approach where materials are kept in use for as long as possible.

  • The fund is open to individuals, community groups, businesses, Iwi/Māori organisations and education providers within the Queenstown Lakes District.

    Before you compile your application and to check if your idea meets our goals and criteria get in touch with the team at 

  • A total of up to $60,000 is available for 2024, which is split into the following categories: 


    Grant Range


    Category A: Commercial Waste Minimisation. Sponsored by Waste Management NZ Ltd. 


    Up to $10,000

    Supporting commercial innovations that minimise waste and maximise resource recovery. 

    Category B: Community Action and Behaviour Change. Funded by QLDC. 

    Up to $50,000 

    Supporting projects that minimise waste, encourage community participation, and create enduring change in behaviour. 


    Funding is exclusive of GST. Your organisation will be responsible for meeting its GST obligations if registered. 

  • Funding can be used for:

    • Trials and pilot projects

    • Community outreach and education

    • Workshops, events, monitoring and surveys

    • Materials and equipment

    • Skills development and research (that is not aimed at supporting the attainment of a qualification)

    • Project implementation costs including operational and capital costs.

    • Payment of staff time for specific deliverables. Ongoing staff salaries and wages is excluded.
  • Funding cannot be used for: 

    • Debt servicing

    • Projects that are inconsistent with QLDC’s WMMP

    • Retrospective projects where the work is already completed

    • Projects that involve waste generated outside of the district

    • Activities that duplicate other projects

    • Feasibility studies and business cases

    • Costs in preparing the application

    • Projects focused on waste disposal, the treatment of waste or litter clean-ups

    • Conventions, conferences, trade shows, private functions, lunches, or dinners

    • Marketing programmes

    • Projects that denigrate, exclude, or offend parts of the community

    • Projects that have the potential to cause harm to people, property, or the environment or that pose a significant risk to the public or council.

    • Ongoing financial support of existing activities or running costs of the existing activities of organisations, individuals, or firms.

    • Rent or accommodation costs

    • Service and maintenance costs including utilities such as power and phone

    • Purchase of alcohol, tobacco, illegal substances, or gaming

    • Overseas travel

    • Fundraising or debt repayments

    • Prize money or entrance fees

  • To be eligible to apply for support from the QLDC Waste Minimisation Community Fund, the project must meet the following criteria:

    • Projects must take place within the Queenstown Lakes district and benefit the local community.

    • For request over $1,000 the applicant must be a legal entity such as a trust, company, or incorporated society, and must be able to provide evidence of this status if requested.

    • For requests under $1,000 applicants can be an unformed group or individual

    • The applicant must have no outstanding debt owing to QLDC.

    • The applicant must fully declare any additional council or local board funding, grant or koha/ donation received for the project/event.

    • The applicant must comply with all QLDC regulatory and statutory requirements relating to the preparation and delivery of the project, including obtaining all necessary permits and consents.

    • Projects must not have breached previous funding and legislative agreements with the council, including reporting criteria.

    • Applicants must specify additional funding from their own or other resources, and/or in kind.

    • Before you compile your application, get in touch with our team and check your idea meets our goals and criteria.

    • Applications will only be accepted through an online application. No hard copies please.

    • We can only accept complete applications so please answer all mandatory questions.

    • Any supporting documentation must be uploaded as part of your application. Please clearly state your project or applicant name on all supporting documents submitted.

    • Applicants must include a detailed project budget as part of their application.

    • Once the fund closes, all applications will be checked for completion.

    • Your application will be assessed and scored by a panel of QLDC staff and elected members against the assessment criteria detailed below.

    • You may be contacted by the panel to answer any questions specific to your application.

  • Applications will be assessed by a panel of QLDC staff and elected members using the following criteria.


    Outcomes and Objectives

    Strategic Alignment

    Aligned with WMMP vision, goals, and objectives, and QLDC wellbeing outcomes.

    Waste Minimisation

    Waste is reduced and/or resources are recovered in line with the waste hierarchy.

    Community Participation

    Community participation is achieved.

    Tangible community benefit is delivered.

    Behaviour is changed.


    Gaps and opportunities in existing waste minimisation services and projects are addressed.


    The project has clear outcomes that are measurable.
    The organisation making the proposal can demonstrate ability to carry out the project, ideally shown by experience in projects of
    a similar nature.
    The project is technically and financially feasible, and does not represent an unacceptable level of risk to the council and


  • Following evaluation, all applicants will be notified in writing about whether their application has been successful or not.

    Funding will be available to successful applicants from 1 July 2024 following acceptance of the fund terms and conditions.

    • Successful applicants are required to provide progress updates when submitting an invoice or upon completion of project milestones identified in your application. Council reserves the right to contact you for an update at any time throughout your project.

    • Successful applicants will be required to submit a final report on completion of the project which shows how the identified outcomes were achieved.

    • The Council may audit successful recipients. This may include a visit from council staff during, or on completion of the project.

    • Projects must use the funding within 12 months of receiving the grant. The project must be delivered within the planned timeframe. After which the project objectives should have been achieved.

  • Do you have any questions regarding your idea or application? Email


Waste Minimisation Community Fund Recipients

    • Kiwi Harvest’s Hack Off Campaign – will make personal food waste reduction methods interesting and entertaining for younger generations, while involving six local chefs.

    • Mountainside Educare’s waste minimisation programme – further building their sustainability efforts and educating their tamariki in a play-based way about by reducing their waste through reuse and composting initiatives.

    • Remarkable Fungi Qt coffee grind recovery project – this project will divert coffee grind from landfill to produce mushrooms.

    • Wakatipu Toy Library – will further increase membership and replace toys in the library, reducing landfill waste from discarded toys and packaging.

    • SPCA Queenstown Op Shop’s purchase of an electrical testing enabler – training a volunteer to test electrical equipment and purchase equipment required to test electrical equipment so it can be sold in the shop.

    • Tikki Studio Queenstown education programme for textile sustainability – hosting regular events, workshops, and ongoing sewing classes to support the community in learning how to upcycle, repair and alter textile goods, in turn sending less textile items and clothing to landfill.

    • Aspiring Beginnings Early Learning Centre Aspiring Beginnings Kaitiaki – receiving funding to enhance its composting systems and to educate its tamariki around sustainability.

    • Kids First Kindergarten’s Hāwea Composting Naturally project – will allow the kindergarten to set up a composting system and educate its tamariki on the benefits of composting.

    • Kiwi Harvest’s Café Collections – funding will expand its successful e-bike waste collection to cafés in Frankton and Wānaka CBD.

    • Sustainability Workshop for the community – local artists will show the community how to upcycle old T-shirts into usable items like reusable shopping bags.

    • Wānaka Community Workshop, Fabricate – will continue to build the community’s capacity to repair, amend and create clothing from waste.

    • Wanaka Squash Club Project Baseline – will obtain a waste audit of their sports club to support strategies to reduce their waste.

    • Remarkables Market Journey to Zero Waste – will increase the capacity of its market dishwashing facility to enable the use of more reusable serve ware by vendors, displacing single-use items destined for landfill.

    • Dumpster Dive Dinner Time – will increase awareness about where our food comes from in the form of an engaging and inspiring educational presentation.

    • Lake Hayes A&P Show – has made a commitment to becoming a waste-free event within three years. The grant will further its efforts towards this goal.

    • Glenorchy Reusable Nappy Bank: Establishing a reusable nappy bank within the Glenorchy community that can be rotated around new babies/young families within the community for years to come. Read more about the Glenorchy Reusable Nappy Bank.

    • Hāwea Flat School, Repair and Reuse Space: Hāwea Flat School is looking to create a Repair and Reuse Space where students can repair, reuse, redesign, mend, invent and make toys, clothes, everyday items and bespoke resources.

    • Lake Hayes A&P Society: The Lake Hayes A&P Show is a popular community event that promotes the Queenstown Lakes District, supports local businesses and provides for a good day out with friends and family. The grant will help organisers include more sustainability initiatives and reduce waste produced by the show. Read more about the Lake Hayes A&P Society.

    • Mount Aspiring College, Composting Programme for Organic Waste: Following an audit undertaken by Team Green, MAC’s environmental group, and the school’s caretaker, the college is planning to implement an onsite composting system for discarded food waste from the canteen, the Food Tech department, the staffroom and the school grounds. The grant will help them with the infrastructure required.

    • Pinnacles Early Learning Centre, Garbage Guardians: Pinnacles Early Learning Centre hope to inspire their tamariki, whānau and wider community to be guardians of our planet through education around sustainable practices and waste management. Funding was provided for waste minimisation resources and education sessions with Wastebusters and Dr Compost.

    • Queenstown Harvest Community Gardens, Learn to Compost the Right Way: Queenstown Harvest Community gardens applied for funding to help improve existing compost bins, build a communal worm farm; and hold composting workshops to better educate members on how to compost well.

    • Wānaka Community Workshop Trust, Fabricate: This project will provide a space where people can learn to repair, remake and create clothing and basic soft furnishing items from a range of materials, focusing on using materials destined for landfill – in the process, learning skills from local community members with a view to deepening the community’s ability to self-sustain in areas of clothing and soft furnishings. These provisions combine to strengthen community networks while fostering sustainability and independence and increasing awareness of the concept of buying for longevity versus fast fashion.

    • Wānaka Community Workshop Trust, MenShed: The WCW was developed as a community resource, where people can access the tools, materials and physical space necessary for building and repair projects without having to purchase or rent their own; and to create a space where people can learn new skills. Funding was provided to help purchase a planer thicknesser machine to add to the existing suite of machinery with the purpose of increasing membership, participation, capability, and waste diversion. Read more about MenShed.

    • Wānaka Primary School, Outdoor Classroom: Wānaka Primary School applied for funding to support the establishment of a school-wide composting system and worm farm to divert organic waste from landfill. Read more about Wānaka Primary School's outdoor classroom.

    • Wanda Foundation, Waste Free Wanda: The Waste Free Wanda show is a proven method of meeting the Waste Education Curriculum of primary schools in Aotearoa, as well as supporting families to make a sustained and empowered shift around single-use plastic reduction. It provides easy-to-use tools that support positive environmental change around water and wildlife conservation, as well as offering an insight into how we view our waste on the planet, and how we can each take responsibility and be the change. Funding was provided to deliver 14 Waste Free Wanda shows across the QLDC region over 12 months.

    • Wao: The Better Building Circular Economy Education Programme, Digital, aims to shift behaviour in the construction and building sector towards a circular economy design and build model. It will build on the delivery of sector and district-specific workshops across the Whakatipu and Upper Clutha basins by providing digital educational materials in the form of educational videos that will be able to deliver the content of the workshops concerning construction waste reduction onsite. It will target three specific parts of the built environment cycle: the design, construction, and demolition phases. It will look at onsite management best practice and showcasing available reuse, recycling and exchange options in the district and provide the tools and resources for participants to take back to their workplace to implement.

    • Wastebusters, Event Recycling Signage and Bins Project: This project is aimed at providing educational signage to support the on-the-ground recycling service that Wastebusters provide at events both big and small. A combination of feather flags to assist attendees to identify the closest recycling bins, and educational signage at a recycling info hub, would help remove current barriers to effectively engaging with recycling and waste diversion at events. The project will also upgrade the current Wastebusters food waste diversion at events, by providing buckets with new 120-litre wheelie bins for use by back-of-house staff.

    • Wastebusters, Uniform Repurposing Pilot: The project aim is to set up a proof-of-concept scheme to rebrand and sell new and preloved uniforms from local businesses. The goal is to keep quality clothing out of landfill and provide an alternative to buying new, encouraging reuse and repurposing choices in the community. This pilot will repurpose items from a large stock of surplus uniforms due to rebranding by a major tourism operator. This will achieve substantial waste diversion. A “repurpose” logo will be developed. Paid sewers working in a community workspace will then rebrand the uniforms, covering the old company branding. The repurposed garments will be sold affordably at retail outlets and online. Read more about Wastebusters Uniform Repurposing Pilot.

    • Hilton Hotel - Reduction of waste to landfill: The Hilton Hotel will reduce waste to landfill by composting approximately 200kg of food waste per week, engage hotel staff and guests, and provide pathogen-free nutrient-rich organic fertiliser to the community for restoration projects. This project will help further support the hotel’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 2030 by 50%. Read more about Hilton Hotel.

    • KiwHarvest - Cafe collections: KiwiHarvest is a food rescue charity redirecting good-to-eat food from landfill and delivering to community groups providing food support. KiwiHarvest want to expand their free service to cafes and bakeries and purchase an e-bike and trailer for staff/volunteers to use for collections. Read more about KiwiHarvest.

    • Maebelle Homes - Construction metal waste collection strategy: This project aims to set up a shared skip bin at Hanley's Farm to be utilised by the construction industry to collect metal waste from local new home builds. The project aims to leverage contractor behaviour to encourage more efficient material use and recycling practices, divert recyclable materials from landfill, and provide a framework for future subdivision waste diversion schemes.

    • Naylor Love Central Otago - Reduction at source and segregation standardisation: Naylor Love is in the process of standardising segregation of recyclable and waste materials across building sites. To make this possible, consistent, clear, and durable signage is required across all sites. Naylor Love also want to reduce the amount of waste coming onto sites by having material delivered in reusable packaging. Read more about this project.

    • Queenstown Preschool and Nursery - Moa’s worm farm: The moa worm farm project aims to introduce children to the Dr Compost home-composting programme, so they learn the benefits of composting and reducing food waste at source. This includes workshops and the setup of a worm farm. Read more about the Moa worm farm.

    • Sustainable Queenstown Charitable Trust - SUCfree Queenstown: Sustainable Queenstown will increase education and community campaigns on single use cups (SUCs) with an objective to ensure cafes have SUCfree options and a significant number are completely SUCfree by 2022. Sustainable Queenstown will work in partnership with the Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association (APBA) to develop Arrowtown as a functioning model of a SUCfree town which can then be applied to the wider Wakatipu area. Read more about Sustainable Queenstown Charitable Trust's profile.

    • The Better Building Group, a working group of Wao Charitable Trust - Better Building Circular Economy Education Program: The Better Building Circular Economy Education Program aims to shift behaviour in the construction and building sector towards a circular economy design and build model. It will deliver a series of sector and district-specific workshops across the Wakatipu and Upper Clutha basins. Read more about the Better Building Group.

    • Wanaka Community Workshop Trust - Wanaka Community Workshop: The Wanaka Community Workshop is a community workshop space that provides a place for people to come together and make, repair and share. The trust will be collecting waste materials from business and building sites and using these to create products that can be used in the community.  Currently, the trust is manufacturing rodent traps from waste plywood that can be purchased for predator control. Read more about this project here.

    • Wanakup: Wanakup aims to normalise the use of reusable cups (personal or borrowed) when buying coffee by providing a viable positive alternative to single use cups. Wanakup aims to expand its reusable cup system and to have a presence at events across the district to promote reuse as a way forward.

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    • Sustainable Queenstown, Dishrupt: Contribution towards a service and education trailer providing reusable dishes and cups at local public events.

    • Plastic Free Wānaka, Waste Free Wanda: Develop a collection of catchy, interactive songs on waste reduction and shared through community performance. 

    • ONE New Zealand/Plastic Free Wānaka: Implement a cup reuse scheme in Wānaka cafes supported by a behaviour change, education and community engagement campaign. 

    • Waste Free with Kate: Presentations at secondary schools to introduce waste free period options. Online resources for health teachers to share with students.

    • Local Food Wānaka, Autumn Apple Drive: Community events teaching a hands-on approach to utilise fruit surplus.