Aotearoa New Zealand generates more than 17 million tonnes of waste each year. We send almost 13 million tonnes of that to landfill. This means that almost 76% of the material we use is completely wasted.
Our recycling rate is low. We only recycle and compost about one-third of the materials we place out on the kerbside and two-thirds is sent to landfills. This percentage is reversed in high-performing countries where they recycle two-thirds and landfill only one-third.
Large amounts of valuable resources are lost to landfill. This represents lost resources and business opportunities.
Rubbish ending up in landfills is also contributing to our carbon emissions. In 2019, the waste sector contributed around 4 per cent of our total greenhouse gas emissions and around 9 per cent of biogenic methane emissions.