Approximately 2.5 million tonnes of waste is still going to landfill in New Zealand each year. Thatís a staggering 560kg per person. Sadly, about three-quarters of this waste could have potentially been recovered, reused or recycled. Not only is this wasting precious resources, but it also causes environmental harm such as leachates and emissions to atmosphere.

Leachate is the liquid formed when waste breaks down in a landfill and water filters through the waste. This liquid is highly toxic and can pollute the land, ground water and water ways.

When organic material such as food scraps and green waste goes into to landfill, it is generally compacted down and covered. This removes the oxygen and causes it to break down in an anaerobic process. Eventually this releases methane and other harmful gases. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Tips to reduce waste:

  • Replace your desk bin for a small desk cube.
  • Use an office paper box lid at your desk for all your waste paper.
  • Reduce the amount of waste bins available and place them in inconvenient locations.
  • Contact Reclaim.

Test your knowledge on waste by taking our Waste Free Tuesday Quiz.