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  Community » Waikato Progress Indicators - Tupuranga Waikato » Report cards » Waste


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worsening trend    WORSENING TREND


The estimated amount of waste going into landfills in the Waikato region in 2015 has increased compared to 2006.

This indicator is the estimated tonnage of waste to landfill per year in the Waikato region.

Why is this indicator important?

When waste ends up in our landfills, it can indicate how efficiently or inefficiently we are using our resources. This is particularly concerning when discarding reusable and recyclable materials such as paper, plastic, organic waste, glass and metal.

It’s not just the inefficient use of resources that is of concern. Some forms of waste produce greenhouse gases (which can affect climate change) and others can have significant health impacts on humans and animals. We also need to manage our waste effectively to avoid it polluting the Waikato region’s waterways, air and land.

Monitoring what’s being thrown out and what’s being recycled can inform councils’ waste management plans including identifying what extra support people need to make recycling easier for them. It can also help councils in providing the right information and education to people in the Waikato region to increase awareness of the need to use our resources more effectively and how they can make a difference around this.

What is this indicator telling us? 

  • An estimated 228,723 tonnes of waste is disposed of to landfill each year from the Waikato region, along with more than twice that amount being disposed of to other land disposal sites (e.g. cleanfill and industrial fills).
  • The annual quantity of waste being disposed from the Waikato region increased by almost 7,000 tonnes in 2015 compared to 2006.
  • According to New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment (MfE), an estimated 2.461 million tonnes of solid waste was disposed of to municipal landfills in New Zealand in 2011, similar to the amount disposed of in 2010.
  • The amount of municipal waste generated in a country is related to the rate of urbanisation, types and patterns of consumption, household revenue and lifestyles.

Check out related information on our website and other organisations’ websites listed on our Waikato Progress Indicators’ Useful Links page.

Click here to view report cards



The 2006 and 2012 figures were taken from Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regions Waste Stocktake, prepared for Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regional Councils by Waste Not Consulting and Eunomia Research & Consulting. The tonnage in the Stocktake was estimated using a range of sources and a limited amount of primary research. Tonnages for several of the districts were taken directly from the councils’ most recent waste assessments. As these waste assessments have not been updated since the 2012 estimate was prepared, relying on them would not provide a satisfactory method for developing an estimate for 2015. Rather than relying on secondary sources for the 2015 estimate, tonnage data for 2015 has been sought directly from all landfills to which waste from Waikato region is known to be taken for disposal. There are a number of reasons for the poor waste data held by District Councils, including commercial sensitivities due to contracting out of waste management services.

These estimates are total tonnage of waste to landfill per annum (i.e. no population adjustment).

Seemingly comparable national data(external link) (assessed on a population basis) were reported in 2012 by Ministry for the Environment (MfE). 

Update details: Data available for 2006, 2012 and 2015.

Customised data request requirements: Regional data are not readily available and will therefore need to be commissioned.


Territorial Authority (TA) disaggregation: No

Other regions: Bay of Plenty only.

New Zealand: Yes

Other countries/ Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Secondary statistics from OECD municipal waste statistics(external link).



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