Waste generation and disposal data

The Ministry collects data from multiple sources on waste generation and disposal.

About data on waste

The Ministry has multiple workstreams that are intended to improve the information and data collected about waste generation and disposal (see links in related information). Currently, the most consistent source of waste data is through the waste disposal levy. 

See waste disposal levy

This programme has been collecting data about waste tonnage disposal and diversion at Class 1 landfills since 2009. The levy has been expanded to progressively include Classes 2 to 5 landfills.

See descriptions of landfill types and materials accepted 

Find out about expansion of the waste levy

The graph below shows the tonnages for landfills classes which have completed a full year of reporting to the online waste levy system.

Total tonnage of waste to levied landfills

Source: Online Waste Levy System

Change in waste composition to Class 1 landfills over time

Based on the research and modelling for the Greenhouse Gas Inventory, the composition of waste disposed of to Class 1 landfills has changed over time.

It is estimated that since 1950:

  • food and garden waste and paper have decreased in the share of total Class 1 waste
  • timber and inert waste (non-greenhouse gas emitting waste which includes plastics and other materials) have increased in the share of total Class 1 waste.