Reducing food waste

Find out what you can do to reduce food waste at home.

Why we need to reduce food waste

When we waste food, we also waste the resources required to produce it, and the money it costs to buy it. 

Food that ends up in landfill does not break down properly. This food waste is buried by other rubbish and crushed, which limits its exposure to sunlight, oxygen, and helpful microorganisms. As a result, it releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that impacts climate change.

Types of food wasted 

New Zealand's top 10 wasted foods each year:

  1. Bread
  2. Leftovers
  3. Oranges
  4. Apples
  5. Bananas
  6. Potatoes
  7. Chicken
  8. Rice
  9. Lettuce
  10. Beef

On average, food waste makes up over a third of kerbside rubbish collected in the Wellington region. We can all make a difference by being more aware about the food we waste.

How to reduce food waste 

Along with other councils throughout New Zealand, we're proud to be part of the 'Love Food Hate Waste' campaign.

The Love Food Hate Waste website is a great resource to help you reduce the amount of avoidable food waste. You'll find:

There are many ways to help reduce food waste.

  • Consider buying rescued food. Businesses who redistribute excess, or imperfect, but edible food are becoming more popular such as Foodprint and Wonky Box.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for your leftovers in a takeaway box, or your own reusable container, if you don’t finish your meal at a café or restaurant.
  • If you, or an organisation you’re part of, is holding an event with food, encourage guests to come prepared to take leftovers home.
  • If you find yourself with more food than you can eat, share with neighbours, whanau and friends, or a Pātaka Kai Pantry.


The best way to avoid food waste is to eat our food. But we still have food scraps that we can’t eat, like eggshells and coffee grounds. Sometimes food goes off despite our best efforts.

Instead of sending this food waste to the landfill, composting is a better option – learn about composting and choosing the right system for you.

Waste education

Our Waste Minimisation team help people to reduce waste. We offer free landfill tours and can visit workplaces and community groups. Find out more about waste education.