Help us reduce green waste going to landfill

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Published: 02 Apr 2020

Timaru District Council is asking people to reduce the amount of garden and renovation waste in their bins to help protect staff while we’re on lockdown.

With the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, all waste from the three bins is now being sent to landfill to be disposed of safely. However, green waste causes significant long-term problems in the landfill as it decomposes creating potent greenhouse gasses.

Waste Minimisation Manager, Ruth Clarke said that the council needs the help of Timaru District residents to reduce or, even better, stop their green bin usage during the lockdown period.

“We’ve had clear guidance from government to reduce non-essential services as way of helping stop the spread of COVID-19. Garden and renovation waste is one area where people can do their bit to help by keeping it on their property until after the lockdown period,” said Ruth.

“We’re wanting to reduce the amount of time that bin contractors are out on runs, as well as the amount of contact they have with other people’s bins. Reducing the number of green bins being presented allows us to do that while still providing essential waste services.

“The Timaru District community has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to dealing with waste, so in these unprecedented times we’re asking for everyone to do their bit to reduce pressure on our system during the lockdown and reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill by keeping gardening waste and renovation materials at home.

“Red bins should be used for essential household waste including Tissues, hand towels, wet wipes, and any food waste.

“Garden waste such as lawn clippings can easily be mulched back into your lawn and leaves can be also be used as mulch in garden bed. You can even compost at home or store your garden waste until things get back to normal.

“The long term environmental damage from having a large volume of green waste going in our landfill, as well as the direct cost of the waste filling the landfill prematurely, can be huge.

“So we’re asking for your help. We’ll keep picking up all bins as normal, but if you can avoid using your green bin, please do so. If we don’t see a significant reduction in volumes, we may need to suspend green bin collections altogether.”

- Food waste, paper hand towels and used tissues should now go in the RED bin.

- Clean recyclables can continue to go in the YELLOW bin although the contents will be going to landfill. This ensures that the red bin doesn’t fill up too quickly and also your bin  isn’t contaminated when the service goes back to normal.

- Green bin use should be minimised where possible.

- For any bin, if you don’t need to put it out, please don’t.  Wait till the bin is full before placing at kerbside.

“We’ve got one of the best waste systems in the country, you can do your bit to ensure you protect the staff that help deliver it every day, as well the long-term sustainability of the by taking this simple action,” said Ruth.

For more information about Timaru District Service during the lockdown period, visit

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021