In 2006, Environment Waikato surveyed people living in the Waikato to find out their awareness of, attitudes to and actions about environmental issues and what they valued about living in the Waikato region. Find out what the Waikato community thinks about waste.
In 2006, people thought that waste disposal was the second most important environmental issue facing the region, following water pollution. Of the 13 per cent who mentioned waste disposal:
- 7 per cent mentioned rubbish disposal
- 3 per cent mentioned recycling
- 2 per cent mentioned littering
- 1 per cent mentioned dumps/landfills.
Waste issues were also the second next most important issue (16 per cent) and the third ranking environmental issue facing the region in the next five years.
Find out more about what Waikato people thought were the most important environmental issues facing the region.
We asked people about waste recycling services and pollution and found that 49 per cent thought the availability of waste recycling services and facilities in their area had become better. About a third suggested it had stayed the same (30 per cent) and almost one out of five people said it had become worse, especially in the districts where recycling facilities had recently closed.
People said that the level of pollution or waste produced by nearby businesses and industries largely stayed the same (40 per cent) over the past few years. There was a fairly even split amongst the remaining 60 per cent as to whether it was getting better or worse. People gave fairly similar results for the level of pollution or waste produced by nearby farms. See the pie graph.
Three out of five people disagreed with the statement that 'people should be allowed to burn garden waste in their backyard'. There was a more even split of opinion from those living in rural areas.
What people are doing
People told us that they are doing a range of activities that help the environment. For each of the activities below that help reduce waste, more people reported doing these in this survey than in previous surveys:
- recycle plastic - 43 per cent
- recycle paper - 40 per cent
- recycle glass - 37 per cent
- recycle tins/cans - 31 per cent
- dispose of rubbish/waste properly - 17 per cent
- compost their garden waste - 9 per cent
- recycle clothes - 9 per cent
- reduce rubbish/waste - 7 per cent
- compost kitchen waste - 6 per cent
- dispose of chemicals properly - 4 per cent
- buy 'green' products - 4 per cent
- save electricity - 4 per cent
- reduce chemical use - 4 per cent
- pick up rubbish on roads/beaches - 2 per cent
- reduce/recycle stock effluent - 2 percent
- tidy/clean up property - 2 per cent
- refuse plastic bags at the supermarket - 2 per cent
- use recycled materials - 1 per cent
- get family into recycling - 1 percent
- don't litter/pick up dog droppings - 1 percent.
People’s Environmental Attitudes
Our survey shows that Waikato people generally have strong positive attitudes towards the environment:
- There's strong community support for regulations and for the protection of the environment over the economy.
- Most people support the statements that 'government restrictions on the use of private property are necessary so that the environment will not be harmed' and that 'council should enforce its rules and laws to make sure that the environment is well looked after'.
- Fifty-three percent of Waikato people do not believe that landowners should be able to do what they want on their land.
Find out more about the views of Waikato people on the region’s:
For more results from this survey check out our indicators of communities and their views or contact us if you’d like more information about our survey.
Find out more about the following in the Waikato region:
Check out our information on how you can help with reducing waste, including tips on reducing household and business waste.
Results presented are from: Environment Waikato and Gravitas Research and Strategy Ltd. 2007: Environmental awareness, attitudes and actions, 2006: a survey of residents of the Waikato Region. Prepared for Environment Waikato. Environment Waikato Technical Report 2007/06. Environment Waikato, Hamilton.