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Let'swaste lessuse moresave onfood.


There are plenty of ways we can reduce food waste at home and help keep it out of landfill.

This model shows different ways to dispose of food waste. Any method of food waste disposal is better than it ending up in landfill - with the best being not creating the food waste to begin with.

There are tips on this page and in the new 2023 calendar that fall into most levels on this model including create less food waste, feed hungry people, feed animals and composting. It might look technical to begin with but what it comes down to is small changes in our home life to make big collective changes in our district, our country and our world.

This page is full of tips and resources that we hope will be useful for your household in the journey to creating less food waste.




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Mayor Adrienne Wilcock

Pick up your calendar

The free 2023 waste min. calendar is now available for pickup from your local council office. The calendars this year are full of tips to reduce food waste at home and also has all of your kerbside rubbish and recycling pick up dates.

You can also download a pdf version of the calendar here.


Message from the Mayor | He karere mai te Koromatua

The world of waste minimisation is an interesting space to be a part of. My roles as chairman of the Agrecovery Foundation, District Councillor and now Mayor have exposed me to its challenges.

Waste minimisation isn’t just for people who care about it– it’s something we all need to work towards. The evolution of consumerism has created a ‘throw-away society’ which in technical terms is known as a linear economy, where we have mined, used and thrown away resources.

A circular economy is the concept of making resources go for a couple more rounds before throwing them out, ideally ending up back at the source and avoiding landfill. For example buying food, eating food, composting food scraps and then using the compost to grow more food.

Councils have a role in providing sustainable and affordable waste services to their communities. Statistics show that we have been recycling more but unfortunately the tonnage to landfill has also increased per capita. In the long term, this isn’t sustainable as the cost of sending rubbish to landfill is getting more expensive and there are also rising costs with the Emissions Trading Scheme levy and the cost of transportation.

Numerous articles have featured in the media on a broad variety of ways to reduce waste going to landfill. Composting food and garden waste rather than putting it in the rubbish bag is a good one but I acknowledge not everyone may be able to easily do this. However sending this type of waste to landfill, which is often 40% of the contents of rubbish bags, unfortunately has a negative environmental impact by creating methane.

The changes to kerbside collections in 2023 should make it easier for everyone to divert kitchen waste from landfill with a dedicated food scraps bin. This will be turned into a high grade compost that can be returned to the soil and close the circle.

In the meantime, let’s find ways to waste less food at home.

Adrienne Wilcock


Know what you've got | Ngā mea kei a koe

Take stock of what you already have to avoid overbuying - you may be surprised by what you find at the back of the pantry! Buying in bulk can help save money - check out our food storage tips for ways to store and save. If you'd like to take stock and keep track of what you've got moving forward, check out this article with free printables from

You can also donate food items that are still good but you don’t think you’ll use to a local food bank or community cupboard rather than throwing them away. If you wish to donate food items to your local food bank or community cupboard, please get in touch with them directly. They all have different requirements so it's best to touch base first. Here are some we know of in Matamata, Morrinsville and Te Aroha:


Plan and save | Kia rautaki, kia kore utu

Planning ahead can mean big saves at the store and less waste overall. You can plan ahead for the next few days, week or month ahead - whatever works for your family. 

If you go shopping and see a mean deal to buy in bulk that can change the plan. If you find a good deal, try to find recipes that use that food in lots of different ways so that you can make the most of it. For example pumpkins could be used in a roast vege salad, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie! 

A great place to start, especially if you've just done a stocktake, is to use what you already have. There are a few cool websites that let you type in what ingredients you have and then they come up with recipes you could make. Here are a few we know of:

Here are some useful resources for meal planning at home:


More resources on food storage:

Creative cooking | Ngā āhuatanga tunu kai

There’s a lot we can do with food scraps and leftovers to reduce waste and save money - bread can have a second life as breadcrumbs or rusks, overripe fruit can be used in smoothies, ice blocks or baking and veges past their prime plus vege peels can become soup, stock or chips. 

Here are some of our favourite resources to help use up food scraps and leftovers creatively:


Composting | Te mahi wairākau

When food scraps break down in a compost system they don’t make methane like they would if buried in
a landfill. This makes composting an awesome way to reduce the impact of food waste and also make your own compost for the garden rather than buying it in.

You can also ask around and check if anyone close by would like your food scraps to use as animal feed.

There are composting methods to suit every household - check out some different methods you can set up at home: