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Waste minimisation

Most Nelson waste ends up in the York Valley landfill. Depositing our waste there is very expensive because landfills have to be designed, operated and monitored carefully to prevent contamination leaving the site, during the life of the landfill, and for many years after it is closed. Throwing things away also means that resources are no longer available for use.

Know your 5 Rs

More efficient and environmentally sensitive ways of considering waste will help to sustain our local resources and our planet for future generations.

REDUCE waste being produced. Think about unnecessary packaging when you buy, choose products that can be re-used or have a long life.

RE-USE Stop and think about whether you already have something to use before throwing things away or buying new.

RECYCLE Does someone else have something you could use that they don't need?

RECOVER benefits e.g. compost food and plant waste and enhance your garden. Investigate a worm farm or composting.

RESIDUE Safely dispose of what waste is left.

Nelson City Council supports Enviroschools to help schools work with their students towards a sustainable future. Learn more about Enviroschools.

Composting, worm farms and Bokashi home waste fermentation

Three great ways to halve the rubbish you send to the tip and save yourself money:

Find out about composting.

Learn more about worm farming.

Read about Bokashi composting.


Nelson City Council wants to encourage residents to use composting and worm bins instead of throwing scraps in the rubbish. Council provides a $20 subsidy when residents purchase either a compost bin or a worm bin from approved outlets. The subsidy is not, however, available for worm purchases.

Download the compost bin/worm bin coupon or call the Council for a worm farm coupon before purchasing a worm farm. More information on kerbside recycling.

Rubbish that can't be recycled

If you put out rubbish that can't be recycled, it will be left on the kerbside with a sticker explaining why it can't be accepted. Please make sure you retrieve and dispose of your unaccepted items.

Learn about some materials or substances that cannot be recycled and how to dispose of them

Waste Management Plan

The Council adopted the Waste Management Plan, in April 2012. The vision of this plan is:"The whole community works towards waste minimisation and a sustainable Nelson".

Cutting down the amount of waste we generate and discard, so that the community uses all its resources efficiently and at a sustainable rate, is the long term challenge for Nelson.

Nelson City and Tasman District Councils held a consultation in 2017 for the Nelson Tasman Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.