The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch, is a city of warm, friendly people, beautiful gardens and open spaces. It has a lively entertainment scene, strong cultural heritage, lots of sports facilities and good shopping. Christchurch’s special character is most obvious in its glorious parks and gardens, which led it to win the International Garden City Award.

With a huge range of recreational activities and attractions on offer visitors can enjoy active or more leisurely pursuits the whole year round.

There is never a dull moment in this very special city. Throughout the year Christchurch proudly celebrates over a dozen festivals with themes covering everything from music to comedy, books to buskers, and the arts to gardens.

The city also plays host to numerous international sporting events each year.

The Christchurch City Council’s goal is zero residual disposal of waste to landfill.
A policy of Zero Waste was adopted in December 1998.



Taking account of real costs, the per capita residual waste disposal will be reduced as follows:

  • 90% reduction of green waste and putrescible material received by the Council by 2010
  • 80% reduction of kerbside waste collected by the Council by 2010
  • 90% reduction in untreated wood going to landfill by 2010
  • 90% reduction in rubble going to landfill by 2005
  • Zero hazardous waste going to landfill by 2020
  • At least a 65% reduction of residual waste, by 2020.

Base year: 1994.

A number of strategies have been set up by the City Council to advance waste reduction. These strategies include the following:

  • A waste minimisation levy per tonne of waste received by the Council has been imposed to fund various was reduction initiatives. This means all producers of waste contribute towards the cost of waste reduction initiatives.
  • Kerbside recycling for the residential sector was introduced in 1998. Currently 17,000 tonnes per year are being diverted from landfill and in the process valuable jobs have been created through the collection and recycling processes.
  • A compost facility where up to 34,000 tonnes of green ‘waste’ is processed into a sellable commodity. Planning for a putrescible processing facility underway.
  • Through its Target Zero commercial waste minimisation programme assistance is given to local businesses to improve their environmental, social and economic performance.
  • The Council established the Recovered Material Foundation to receive materials collected through kerbside collection. The Foundation undertakes research into finding new ways of reusing or reprocessing different materials from the waste stream, is involved in actual recycling efforts where no existing commercial venture is available to do so, and funds suitable fledgling recycling industries.
  • Waste Exchange Service – administered by the RMF, for business and industry to either source materials or find outlets for reusable / recyclable materials that would otherwise be landfilled
  • Material suitable for reuse and recycling can be dropped off free of charge at the recycling centers located at each of the Council’s three refuse stations.
  • Items collected at the recycling centers are processed, repaired and sold to the public at the ‘SuperShed’ run by the RMF. Shoppers can view and purchase a large variety of ‘pre-loved’ items that would otherwise go to landfill.
  • New acceptance criteria for hazardous waste at Burwood landfill have been developed.
  • Collection of green waste and residential foodwaste is being investigated.

Kerbside Collection of Domestic Kitchen Organics in Christchurch, August 2002

This report investigates the feasibility of collecting domestic kitchen organics (food scraps) at the kerbside in Christchurch. An eight week trial was conducted. The report analyses the costs, operational issues and community acceptance and participation in the scheme.

To see the report go to

  • Weigh bridges at refuse stations mean everyone pays by weight. Staff there can help identify recyclable and reusable goods.
  • Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off – some common household hazardous waste can be dropped off free of charge at the City’s refuse stations.
  • In conjunction with nine other territorial local authorities the Canterbury Waste Subcommittee was established three years ago to prioritise and advance regional waste minimisation and a regional landfill.

Check out Christchurch City Council’s website: