The Solid Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw 2020

The Solid Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw came into effect on 25 January 2021 and provides a new approach to Wellington’s waste.

The population of Wellington city is expected to grow by 50,000 to 80,000 over the next 30 years, so we need better ways to manage and reduce our waste in preparation for that.

The bylaw will mean some changes to the way we do things. But it will make a big difference to the city’s carbon footprint – and benefit all Wellingtonians.

What the Bylaw means for Wellington residents (effective 25 January 2021)

Kerbside collections

Green waste

Green waste is organic plant material from gardening or arboriculture activities including lawn clippings, weeds, plants and other soft vegetable matter. It does not include kitchen/food waste.

  • Large quantities of green waste are no longer permitted in kerbside rubbish – no more than 10% per yellow bag.
  • Larger quantities can be disposed of for a discounted fee of $5 for up to 85kg at the Southern Landfill, where we turn it into compost.  
  • More information: disposing of your green waste at the Southern Landfill

If you can’t bring your green waste to the landfill:

  • Try home composting - see our tips for using a compost bin, worm farm or Bokashi system.
  • Use a private contractor for a regular garden waste wheelie bin or skip collection.
  • For one-off jobs involving larger woody items, hire a mulcher and use the chips around the garden.


  • The disposal of all kinds of batteries (including household batteries) in kerbside rubbish will be phased out later this year.
  • We’re currently looking into alternative disposal options. There will be a grace period in the meantime, until the details are finalised.
  • If you can, please take your used batteries to the hazardous waste drop off located at the Southern Landfill. This is free for up to 20kg. You can also drop them off at the Sustainability Trust at a cost of $5 per kilo.

Southern Landfill (domestic users)

The following items are no longer accepted in landfill:

  • Green waste
  • Electronic waste
  • Recyclable paper and cardboard
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Steel and aluminium cans
  • Tyres

Please separate these items from your landfill rubbish and drop them off in the waste, recycling and composting services available on site. Most of this can be done for free except for televisions and monitors, fridges, freezers and tyres, which incur a small charge.

More information: Southern Landfill charges

The bylaw does not affect the disposal of domestic hazardous waste. This still needs to be separated from general rubbish prior to arrival at the Southern Landfill. Up to 20kg or 20L is accepted free of charge.

More information: hazardous waste

Other changes

The bylaw also introduces other changes, including:

  • new controls to manage waste and kerbside collection
  • restrictions around unaddressed and advertising mail
  • a new suite of standards that will affect waste and recycling collectors
  • the establishment of waste operator licensing by February 2023 (applicable to waste collectors who transport more than 20 tonnes of waste per year)
  • new event waste management planning requirements for large outdoor events (over 1000 people), and indoor events (over 5000 people)
  • standards to better manage littering and the inappropriate deposit/discarding of waste
  • the establishment of new construction and demolition waste planning requirements for high-value building projects (valued at $2 million or more)
  • standards to ensure new multi-unit dwellings, with 10 or more residential units, provide suitable storage areas for waste and recycling generated on-site

These changes will be phased in gradually, and we’ll be working closely with everyone involved to ensure a smooth transition.

Contact us

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