Raglan Zero Waste

Raglan Zero Waste

Raglan Zero Waste

Xtreme Zero Waste

The residents of Raglan have come a long way towards making their community New Zealand’s first zero waste town.

The inspiring Xtreme Zero Waste programme running in the area since 2000 has created many successful initiatives including kerbside recycling collections and pre-paid bags, street litter servicing, rural and business waste and recycle collection and drop off services, toxic and hazardous waste management, zero waste event capability and a district education programme in Waikato schools and learning centres leading behaviour change.

Before the community-led programme, 100% of Raglan’s waste was going to landfill, causing significant environmental problems. Sixteen years later, the project is diverting more than 75% of the community’s waste from landfill and has created many new businesses, employed more than 200 people and injected an estimated $13.5 million into the community.

Partnering with the Waikato District and regional councils, iwi, local businesses and other local community groups, Xtreme Zero waste has also helped support improving water quality in the Wauinui stream and Whaingaroa Harbour and restored some coastal forest that surrounded the old landfill. This involved planting more than 9000 trees, building two wetlands and conducting pest control.

Future projects include a weekly kerbside collection of food waste, a new Repair Café alongside the Recycle centre to be built in the next 12 months, and increasing composting capability to include dirty paper.

While there is still work to be done to reach the Zero Waste goal, with the last 15-20% in sight, Raglan Zero waste is clearly on the right track and an inspiration to many other communities around New Zealand.

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