Household food waste

We're helping to reduce food waste in Wellington’s homes.

Infographic with statistics about food waste in New Zealand

Food waste in NZ - the numbers


Reduce food waste at home

On average, food waste makes up over a third of kerbside rubbish collected in the region. That’s a lot of money – about $599 for each household every year.

We’re supporting the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, which encourages people to change their food habits, and provides practical advice on how to minimise food waste and save money.

The Love Food Hate Waste website has a range of resources including some handy information to help you to work out portion size, and recipes for using up leftover odds and end - as well as information about the greater environmental impacts of food waste.

You can also follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter for more information and ideas.

National campaign and research

The campaign is being run by Councils nationwide and is based on research that included surveying 1,365 New Zealanders, examining the contents of 1,402 household rubbish bins and giving 100 families diaries to record food disposal for a week. Findings include:

  • It is estimated Kiwis spend $872 million a year on food that then gets thrown away uneaten.
  • We throw away over 122,547 tonnes of food a year – enough to feed around 262,917 people, or half the population of the Wellington region for 12 months.
  • Bread, fruit and vegies, and meal leftovers are the most commonly discarded foods. The equivalent of 20 million loaves of bread is thrown away uneaten every year.
  • The average household sends around 79 kilograms of edible food to landfills every year.
  • In Wellington, avoidable food waste costs the average household nearly $599 a year, totalling nearly $106 million for the region as a whole.

Organic waste collections

We’ve been following Auckland’s food waste trials with interest. Through our new regional waste plan  we have committed to reducing waste by a third over the next ten years. The waste plan includes looking at options for reducing food waste to landfill. 

The Draft Long Term Plan 2018-2028 now also contains a commitment to investigate options for diverting food waste from landfill, and this is likely to include food waste collection as part of a wider trial.  

Once the plan is adopted in late June there will be more to come. In the meantime you can find out ways to reduce your food waste at home at Love Food Hate Waste

Making food out of waste for Wellington on a Plate

Find out how Chef Shepherd Elliott made food go further for Wellington on a Plate 2015; 3 News - Wellington chef makes food out of waste