In a complete overhaul of the city’s waste management system, Auckland’s Waste to Resources project has put the city on track to achieve zero waste by 2040.

In efforts to achieve zero waste by 2040, Auckland initiated the Waste to Resources project in 2012, diverting materials from the waste stream and making resource efficiency a regular part of the city. As one of the biggest changes in waste management in the Southern Hemisphere, seven regional services were folded into one improved city-wide waste management system. The city aims to have new services rolled out progressively by 2020, such as a network of community-led resource recovery centers, a third bin collection for food waste, and a new inorganic waste service that diverts useful material to community organizations.

Waste reduction is being encouraged through right-sizing of refuse bins and pay-as-you-throw pricing. An innovative community-based approach is using creativity to engage residents in driving locally inspired and owned solutions. This active citizen engagement plays a critical part in helping the Waste to Resources project contribute to the city’s overall goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2040.

8.4% reduction in CO2 emissions per capita since launching the project

The challenge

In 2013, 9.3% of Auckland’s greenhouse gas emissions came from waste, with 1.2 million metrics tons sent to landfill in 2011. At the same time, around 65% of curbside collected waste could be recovered, re-used, or recycled. The Auckland Waste to Resources project mitigates these issues and puts the city on track to achieve zero waste status by 2040.


Economic Under the Waste to Resources project, community groups are repurposing materials into saleable goods, creating a new source of revenue for the city.

Environmental Domestic curbside waste has dropped from 160 kg per person in 2010 to 152 kg per person in 2015, before city-wide service changes had even been rolled out.

Health In its efforts to promote waste reduction and diversion, the project encourages healthy eating and community gardening, with one Maori community planting 80,000 sweet potato plants as part of the project.

Social The 20 community recycling centers opened under the project are expected to provide at least 85 new jobs, with one-quarter of current positions filled by those who were among the long-term unemployed.

About Auckland

Auckland is a city in New Zealand’s North Island. With an urban population of 1,495,000, Auckland is the most populous urban area in the country. Auckland’s Central Business District is the major financial centre of New Zealand and its surrounding hills are covered in rainforest and the landscape is dotted with dozens of dormant volcanic cones. Auckland is frequently ranked among the world’s most liveable cities.

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