What to do with food waste

New Zealand households throw away 122,547 tonnes of food annually, enough to feed 262,917 people or the population of Dunedin for two years. That costs $872 million a year. For Kiwi families, that is the equivalent of three shopping trolleys of edible food going to landfill each year.

For the average household that is at least $560 worth of food going to waste and for some it’s over $1,000 per year. Eliminating this food waste would have the same effect as reducing CO2 equivalent emissions by 325,975 tonnes – that’s like planting 130,390 trees or taking 118,107 cars off the road for a year.

Food waste or food loss is food that is not eaten. The causes of food waste or loss are numerous and occur throughout the food system, during production, processing, distribution, retail and consumption. Global food loss and waste amount to between one-third and one-half of all food produced.

NZ’s top 10 most wasted foods

1 Bread*

2 Leftovers

3 Potatoes

4 Apples

5 Chicken

6 Bananas

7 Lettuce

8 Oranges

9 Pumpkin

10 Carrots

*20 million loaves are thrown away each year

So, what food waste can you put in your Bay Environment greenwaste bin:

All of the above (excluding chicken) including your fruit and vegetable peelings plus all garden plant waste except - flax, toi toi and cabbage tree leaves.

Food scraps such as meat, bones, carcases and fish plus soil, paper, plastic, cans, turf, concrete, rock or stones are not to be placed in your greenwaste bin.

Source: For additional information about food waste, visit: