Resource Management at Home

Auckland-wide, approximately 443 tone's of waste is collected every week from households. This page will show you how we can change our consumer habits, provide information to reduce and recover waste that we do create at home, and put in place systems to manage that resource.

Living Ethically and Sustainably in a Consumer World

Social pressures can make it difficult for us to recognize the difference between what we need and what we want and we may have been persuaded that retail therapy can satisfy our emotional needs. Often the instant gratification of a purchase gives a short term high but no long term benefits. We can look for alternatives to retail therapy to satisfy our needs, or choose our purchases more carefully to be sure they really do meet our needs. 

 Personal considerations

  • Is this a need or a want?
  • Will it keep me warm, nourished, active, happy, stimulated, feeling good?
  • Can I realistically create it at home using available resources?
  • Are there better options?

environmental considerations

  • Is it made from a renewable resource?
  • Does its production create toxic emissions?
  • Does its manufacture use non renewable energy?
  • Is it made locally?
  • Can it be re-used, re-purposed or efficiently recycled?
  • On Balance Is This An Ethical Purchase?

   Bin Audits

Looking in our Bins helps us see where we can make changes to reduce what we throw out. Initially, as your landfill bin fills more slowly, you may notice you create more recycling, but gradually this will diminish as you reduce, re-use and re-purpose. You'll notice you're putting your bins out less often, and have the satisfaction of saving money by NOT buying so many bin tags. 

Visit and take the Quiz to discover your impact on the planet and actions you can take to reduce it.

Action Examples for Reducing Our Impact

Below are a few ideas for reducing the amount of waste you generate in your home. See below for our sustainable living workshops that will give you the skills and knowledge to make positive change.

Food and Storage

Use Beeswax Wraps and re-usable containers to keep food fresh.
Gel lids on pots and bowls can replace plastic wrap

Packaging and Containers

Think about the packaging and containers that products come in. Avoid buying products in plastic containers. Choose recyclable products with minimal or no packaging or look for alternatives. 

Reduce your packaging  waste by growing your own veges and flowers.


Make and Create

Consider what you can enjoy making at home, or communally. The time and money used may be offset by less time spent shopping and driving; lower costs, less packaging and petrol, lower carbon emissions; more time socialising and building satisfying relationships with  family, friends, or neighbours; and the real satisfaction of creating something yourself. Use Sustainable Papakura Workshops for ideas to get you started

Cleaning Products

Use soap and shampoo bars, Learn how to make your own cleaners. 

Cut old soft fabric into squares instead of buying wipes. Wash then reuse

Shopping Bags

Remember to take your re-usable Shopping and Produce Bags for veggies, fruit and dry goods.
Buy loose, un-packaged products wherever possible

Food Waste

Food is a major component of household waste. To reduce this we can embrace 'slow' food over 'fast' food and learn shopping, cooking and storage skills which reduce waste and save us many dollars as well: an average of $600.00 a year for NZ households. Finally, Composting, Worm Farming, or Bokashi systems together with our Council Food Scraps Bins, enable us to use food scraps, paper and cardboard to effectively enrich the soil. 


Changing Our Perceptions from 'Rubbish' to 'Resource'

With a little bit of creativity and effort, a large proportion of what we would normally throw away can be re-used, repaired or repurposed. See below for our sustainable living workshops that will give you the skills and knowledge to implement these strategies.


Re-use involves minimal processing, usually just a wash and maybe re-labeling

 Some ideas

  • Re-use plastic bags, jam jars 
  • Gift unwanted items to others or op-shops.
  • Use or start community lending libraries for toys, tools, party gear, clothes
  • Donate to Sustainable Papakura's  Swap Stop


Repair involves some effort, but saves the original item from landfill. It can stimulate local enterprises

 Some ideas

  • Identify local repair services, 
  • learn some new skills ourselves eg: how to sharpen tools, maintain your property and equipment
  • order new parts


Re-purposing requires skill, imagination and effort, but is a creative activity that is highly satisfying as an art and craft genre, as well as recovering resources. Re-purposing can also be a catalyst for new business enterprises.

  Some ideas

  • Cut up old t-shirts for yarn or garden twine.     
  • Make gumboots into plant pots 
  • Enter the SMART Competition

Resource Management Systems

Step by step

If you follow these 3 steps each time you have finished with something, everything will be cleaned, sorted and ready to be Re-used, Repaired, Re-purposed or Recycled

Check List


Wash items with the rest of your washing up, as soon as you’ve finished with them, and save on water. They can go in the dishwasher too, that way you wont end up with a bin full of smelly things that no one wants to deal with.


Break down items into different components eg: remove sticky tape from cardboard, separate plastic, paper and cardboard components.


Store your cleaned and separated items in the appropriate container.

Once You Have a System Set Up it all Gets Easier!

Recovering resources may seem like one more chore to consume our time and energy.  With a little organisation  however, you can set up your own home recycling system and make resource management easy and efficient.

Storage Ideas

in the Kitchen

Under the kitchen sink: compostable's, soft plastics,  recycling, small landfill items, tin foil balls, bread tags.

In the Bathroom

All empty dental care containers, toothpaste tubes, floss, mouthwash, and used toothbrushes.

In the Garage

E-waste, op shop, gifting, repair, inorganic collection, household metals, council bins, hazardous waste.

Hall Cupboard

Wrapping paper, ribbon and string, carry bags, home re-purposing or repair, craft potential.

In a Basket

Keep a basket in a handy location for items that you can drop off at Sustainable Papakura's Collection Point.

On a Door Handle

Hang a bag on a door handle to put your soft plastics in, or have a special bin.

When You Work

Use temporary storage to separate plastic, paper, card, metal, hazardous waste, as you work.

In the Freezer

If your food scraps bin gets smelly or attracts fruit flies, put your food scraps in the freezer till collection day.

  A Team Effort

Recovering Resources is everyone's responsibility. Think of ways to get family members involved in preserving Papatūānuku into the future by using  the interests and skills of each person and working as a team .


Ensure Remaining Items get to Appropriate Recyclers for Processing

Recycling is at the bottom the waste hierarchy because it generally uses significant amounts of energy and technology to reprocess items into 'new' raw materials such as plastic chips, paper machie, paint, Oil. We can support local Recycling Businesses to divert resources from landfill through our own home resource management systems.  It is clear from this that Recycling goes far beyond simply dumping stuff in our Council Recycling Bins. 

Council Recycling Services

 Papakura 3 bin system

Your 3 bin Council Recycling System is your last resort. Use it correctly to avoid contamination and ensure that everything you put in your recycling and food-craps bins can be recycled and won't go to landfill. 

Click a link to find detailed information about what you can and can't put your bins.

 inorganic collections

Auckland's Inorganic Collection is designed to divert as many resources as possible from landfill. Book your collection and when it's picked up it'll be separated into landfill and recoverable s. Many of your items will find their way to small enterprises or community groups who make them fit for some purpose through reuse, repair, re-purposing or recycling.

 Hazardous Waste

For items that are Toxic, Explosive, corrosive, radioactive
go to this
Auckland Council Page
 for information and disposal options.

Examples of Local Papakura Recyclers

Phoenix Metal Man

They recycle all kinds of metals, batteries, E-waste and packaging. Follow the link for more detailed info and locations.

Cartridge World

Get your printer cartridges refilled and save them from landfill.


You can drop your unwanted paint or empty paint cans at any Resene store. There is a small fee for non Resene brands.


Soft Plastic Recycling

Drop your clean and dry soft plastics at Countdown or at one of their many other South Auckland locations.

Follow the link for all locations and more info.

Sustainable Papakura

At our base we collect and pass on a range of items via our collection point. 

Click for more info

Polystyrene at Mitre 10

You can take polystyrene to Mitre 10 Takanini, trade department drive through

Useful Resources And Links

Test Your Recycling Knowledge

Play the Recycle Right game to see if your recycling knowledge is up to scratch.

Composting Systems

To learn more about composting you can check out the Compost Collective website. 

We sometimes run composting related workshops so keep an eye on the sustainable living section on our Workshops page