Ka tuwhaina te huware ki te whenua, e hoki atu ranei ki to waha - What you waste or throw away, you can never recover.
On this page: what is solid waste?, a Maori perspective, waste in the Waikato region , less waste, what we are doing, find out more, glossary
What is solid waste?
People throw things away when they do not have a use for them or think they have no obvious value. Solid waste occurs as:
- solid waste - for example, household rubbish, demolition rubble
- sludges or biosolids - for example, sewage sludge.
A Maori perspective
For many years, the region's tangata whenua have been concerned about the release of pollutants into the environment. Historically, these concerns have focused on water (such as sewage discharges into the Waikato River). However there is also a strong interest in discharges to land, and the effects that those discharges could have on:
In Maori culture, Papatuanuku (the earth) is very important and tangata whenua have a vital role as kaitiaki (guardians). If waste disposal reduces or destroys the life supporting capacity of soils, it damages the mauri (life essence) of the land.
Find out more about the relationship between Maori and the land.
Glossary of Maori words
||People of the land
||Something prized or treasured
Waste in the Waikato region
In our region, the amount of solid waste for disposal is increasing. Also, wastes from areas outside our region (such as Auckland and Tauranga) are likely to be increasingly brought into the Waikato region for disposal. Find out about what happens to our waste.
At the same time we are becoming more aware of the potential effects of solid waste disposal. Poorly built and maintained landfills near waterways can leak contaminants into the water. Recently many unsatisfactory disposal sites have been closed or upgraded. Find out where waste landfills are located in our region.
Modern landfills are better managed with greater emphasis on avoiding environmental effects. But landfill space is becoming scarce as older sites are closed and suitable new sites are harder to find.
A well managed and appropriately located modern landfill with leachate collection, impermeable liners and landfill gas management systems is unlikely to have significant adverse effects on the environment. The resource consent process ensures that all sites meet strict environmental criteria.
If we can reduce the amount of waste we produce there will be less adverse effects from waste generation and disposal.
City and district councils have day-to-day responsibility for waste collection and management, including waste minimisation. They prepare waste management plans following the waste management hierarchy of:
- Reduce - support products that will produce less waste, for example, those with less packaging.
- Reuse - for example, donate unwanted clothing or household goods to opportunity shops.
- Recycle – for example, aluminium cans, paper and glass can be collected and reprocessed.
- Recovery of resources - for example kitchen and garden waste can be composted.
- Residual disposal.
Find out how you can help to reduce waste in the Waikato region.
View the Regional Recycling Directory listed on the Waste Exchange.
What we are doing
Waikato Regional Council helps city and district councils in their efforts to reduce waste by:
- encouraging people to reuse waste through a waste exchange network.
- promoting cleaner production methods for businesses.
- promoting composting to reduce the amounts of waste dumped at landfills.
- improving the management of waste disposal sites through the resource consent process.
In 2003, Waikato Regional Council released its Waste Management Strategy for the region. The strategy sets out how Waikato Regional Council can help city and district councils, and local communities achieve their waste minimisation goals.
For Waikato Regional Council's policy on waste management check out our Regional Policy Statement. For rules and regulations on solid waste disposal check out the Regional Plan.
Find out more
Find out about reducing household waste and waste from businesses.
Check out where your local recycling facilities are located.
Find about gaseous wastes in the air.
Find out about contaminated sites and hazardous waste.