Never more has it been so important to reduce waste. New Zealand has a mixed performance internationally in waste management and it is clear that we can do better. More locally as Lincoln’s population expands we need to ensure pressures on the environment are kept to a minimum.  Ways to reduce domestic waste to landfill was one of the issues identified by the Lincoln Envirotown Trust (LET) as an issue for Lincoln residents. Since then LET has worked to support Lincoln residents in their quest to reduce domestic waste.

What Lincoln Envirotown does:

LET promotes waste reduction and has adopted the aspirational goal of Zero Waste by providing opportunities to engage and learn about how to manage and reduce waste, to date LET has:

  • Hosted the Zero Waste Challenge where the streets of Lincoln are invited to take up the challenge to see who has the best zero waste practices. The challenge acts as a way to learn more about waste as well as an opportunity to meet other people in the Lincoln community. The previous winners include: 2006 - Glebe Close; 2007 - Glebe Close & Roblyn Place co-winners and 2008 - The Crescent at Lincoln University.

  •  Produced a reusable bag which was delivered to all residents:

  • For local residents, created a NO JUNK MAIL sticker,  which are available from the library:

  • A web resource section of up to date thinking on waste reduction and recycling- see below.

LET has a Zero Waste subcommittee, if you are interested in joining, let us know.
The information and links below are to help you to find the information you need about reducing waste.

Waste Reduction and Recycling our ultimate goal!

Waste and Recycling in the Lincoln and the Selwyn District

The Selwyn District Council aims to encourage waste reduction and recycling through the structure of their household waste and recycling collection system, the less waste that is put out the less householders pay! Details about the Selwyn District Council recycling service and information on recycling energy saver light bulbs for Lincoln and the Selwyn District can be found at: www.selwyn.govt.nz/services/rubbish-refuse/recycle-collection, see also the Insider’s Guide to SDC recycling service.  

Reducing waste

Other options include the story of the couple who went rubbish free for a year, they have heaps of hints:


Or see the Waitaki District Council’s discussion on reducing waste at:


Try also 4Myearth a New Zealand company who manufacture sandwich wraps and other products that help reduce packaging:

www.4myearth.co.nz/products.php and then there’s ONYA who create options for shopping such as ‘stuff away fruit and vegetable bag’ which means no more plastic bags are required on shopping trips: www.onyabags.co.nz/

For some context the Story of Stuff is a video that outlines the creation of the goods we use and how this affects the earth and its inhabitants (including us) (20mins): http://www.storyofstuff.com/

The Paperless Express has ideas for reducing paper waste in the office: http://www.stopwaste.org/home/index.asp?page=940
Want something read to try:

Reducing Green Waste

Information about composting: if you would like to compost at home a great place to start is:

http://ecan.govt.nz/advice/Sustainable-Living/waste/Pages/composting.aspx or see this Christchurch City Council pamphlet on composting.

The Christchurch City council also has a useful section that includes information about the Bokashi composting system, an excellent way to manage your food wastes especially if you have limited space:

http://www.ccc.govt.nz/homeliving/sustainableliving/sustainabilitychristchurch/athome.aspx [then download: Urban Composting PDF] or go directly to their website to order www.bokashi.co.nz/

The Canterbury Branch of the Soil and Health Association has blog site that has interesting gardening stories and notices of garden tours and other gardening adventures: http://organicschch.blogspot.com/

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste includes used machine oil, household chemicals, solvents and thinners and paint, lead acid batteries and e-waste (computer related items). Lead acid batteries must be separated from household waste, dry cell or gel batteries may be disposed of in the household waste collection. Used machine oil can be dropped off at most Transfer stations. This service is currently not available in the Selwyn District, although the Selwyn District Council hopes to be collecting hazardous waste soon. When operating the Resource Recovery Park will take hazardous waste including used engine oil, batteries, e-waste and fluorescent tubes. At the moment Car batteries can be taken to Metalcorp in Halswell Junction Road. Compact fluorescent bulbs can be taken to the Hornby Mitre 10 Mega service desk and Canterbury Betta Electrical in Leeston for recycling.

To check what is hazardous waste see the Hazardous Waste Section of Environment Canterbury:


For very detailed information about batteries and e-waste go to:


For electronic waste disposal also keep an eye on the eday website: http://www.eday.org.nz/

Save Money!

Selwyn householders can reduce what they pay for waste disposal by recycling and composting.  There is a benefit in home composting or alternatively using the council’s organic collection.  The costs are up front, and are not hidden in the general rate, so people can make their choices knowing the costs.
The council waste collection prices encourage waste minimisation.  The compulsory 240 litre recycling wheelie bin collected fortnightly costs $61.33 per year.  (The prices below include 15% GST)
A 240 litre rubbish wheelie bin collected weekly, costs $383.33 p.a. incl GST.
A 240 litre organic bin ($204.45) plus an 80 litre rubbish bin ($117.55) costs $322 per year.   
A 240 litre organic bin ($204.45) plus one rubbish bag per week ($87.88) costs $292.33 per year.  Also rubbish bags can be put out less frequently than weekly.
The cheapest option is to reduce your waste, fully utilise the recycling collection, home compost (or use the organic collection), and put out the occasional rubbish bag.
The message is reduce your rubbish, reduce your costs and achieve a better environmental outcome.   

(Source: Dave Hock, Selwyn District Council)

The Insider’s Guide to the SDC Recycling Service (or Making life easier for the collectors)

  • Keep the weight of your recycling wheelie bins to less than the 60 kg maximum allowed;
  • The bin lid must be closed with nothing protruding;
  • Piles of additional recyclables such as large cartons, bags of bottles, or expanded polystyrene left beside the wheelie bins will not be collected;
  • No rubbish, organic waste, meat trays, expanded polystyrene, window glass, Pyrex, plastic wrap and plastic bags in the recycling bins. 
  • Certainly no bean bags or other items not accepted for recycling – try the Freecycling network for these itemsJ.

Christchurch City Council pamphlet (Click this link to view pamphlet)