This paper seeks to document the state of play in the resource recovery and waste sector in New Zealand with a focus on the infrastructure used to manage New Zealand’s waste. This includes landfills, material recovery facilities and processing facilities.
- Waste and resource recovery infrastructure sits within a wider system for managing waste. It includes the infrastructure for collecting, sorting, transporting and either recovering reusable materials from waste or disposing of it through landfill.
- The data available shows that New Zealand’s rates of resource recovery – the recovering of waste for new uses – are low when compared to many other countries. However, there are gaps in the data publicly available at a national level.
- The data shows that waste from construction makes up between 40 to 50% of all waste sent to landfill.
- New Zealand lacks the onshore processing infrastructure to deal with all our waste in ways that get greater value from it and reduce our reliance on landfills. However, there could also be potential for preventing certain materials from becoming waste in the first instance.
- Access to recycling varies across the country, and some parts of the country don’t have reasonable access to resource recovery infrastructure.