Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Tararua is committed to environmental sustainability and recycling innovation.


The most efficient way to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill is to produce less waste in the first place.

Follow these ‘smart’ shopping tips. They’ll not only reduce the amount of waste you create but often they’ll save you money too!

  • Make a grocery list and stick to it – a lot of the food we buy ends up being thrown out. Only buy what will actually be eaten.
  • Choose products that come in recyclable packaging and (where possible) choose products that are made from or packaged in recycled materials.
  • Avoid products that come in excessive amounts of packaging (concentrates and refills are a great way to reduce waste).
  • Buy long life products – purchase reusable, refillable, repairable products instead of disposable ones (e.g. razors, rechargeable batteries) and quality appliances, clothes etc.
  • Take re-useable bags with you when you go shopping instead of relying on plastic bags (Hint: keep your bags in the car and put them back there once you’ve emptied your shopping at home – this way you won’t forget them next time).

Reducing waste is not just something that happens at the supermarket. Here are some ideas to help reduce the waste in and around your home.

  • Choose to have your statements and bills sent to you online instead of by mail.
  • Place a “no junk mail” sign on your mailbox and stop receiving all that unwanted paper.
  • Only print when you actually need to and if you do, print double-sided.
  • Place paper that is good on one side (GOOS) aside for use as note paper or shopping lists.
  • Have leftovers for lunch the next day or freeze and save for a day when you can’t be bothered cooking.


Using an item more than once is easy and can also save you money. Here are some helpful hints:

  • Store ice cream containers, margarine containers, jam jars etc for re-use (remember to recycle rigid plastic containers in your recycling bin once you’re finally finished with them).
  • Reuse containers by refilling instead of buying new – drink bottles, household cleaners, printer ink cartridges etc.
  • Repair instead of replacing – just like you would repair your car, why not mend or patch worn clothing?
  • Keep your old toothbrush for cleaning small or hard to reach places.
  • Donate unwanted clothing to charity or second-hand shops.
  • Share magazines and books with friends.
  • Sell unwanted items – give or sell to a second hand dealer, hold a garage sale or list on an online auction site.
  • Talk to your local Kindergarten or Kohanga Reo - they will have a list of items they use for crafts and play.


Giving waste materials a new life rather than sending them to landfill reduces demand for virgin materials and is more energy efficient, meaning it’s great for the environment.

Did you know?

  • Creating an aluminium can from recycled aluminium uses 95% less energy than creating one from virgin materials - each can recycled saves enough electricity to power a TV or computer for three hours.
  • Each tonne of paper recycled saves 17 trees.

  • Empty aerosol cans and tin foil are recyclable. They can be put loose in your recycling bin – just make sure aerosols are empty and that tin foil is free of food residue.

And the final thing is ... don't forget to buy products that can be recycled and then you are completing the cycle!