Waste Free Welly is an open and collaborative group of individuals and organisations working to progress the vision of zero waste in the Wellington Region. In 2020, responding to Wellington City Council’s target of reducing waste to landfill 30% by 2026, they proposed to develop a region-wide resource recovery network. This would draw on work already being done by mana whenua, community enterprises, local organisations, industry, households and the Government to shift Wellington towards a low waste, low carbon circular economy.

Three priority areas were proposed:

  • Developing a regional resource recovery network, particularly community-led to be able to divert valuable products and resources from landfill and build community enterprise and wellbeing
  • Organic waste – especially supporting the growth of a network of decentralised composting and urban farming hubs that can help to capture and process as much of the organic waste currently going to landfill across the Wellington region, and reduce methane and build community, food and climate resilience as well 
  • Building the reuse economy – supporting the growth of business models centred around reusables, e.g. reusable packaging and serviceware schemes, repair activity, more bulk bin stores and access to unpackaged food beyond the supermarket, reusables at events etc

The Resource Recovery Network would be made up of independently operated sites, working collaboratively under a common brand to provide communities with a ‘one stop shop’ for reuse, recycling, repair, upcycling and retail activities. Each site would deliver a range of similar services tailored to best fit the local community and environment. They would all focus on delivering a high quality user experience for households and businesses.

They would:

  • Accept and sell good quality second hand goods and materials.
  • Receive recycling including beverage containers returned through a container return scheme.
  • Take back end of life products like E waste and appliances. Provide workshop space for repair and refurbishment, including tool libraries.
  • Link in with community composting hubs and community gardens.
  • Include washing and sterilisation systems for the emerging reuse economy.
  • Run behaviour change and community engagement programmes.

Waste Free Welly is made up of enterprises, advocates, educators, researchers, NGOs, and consultants including The Sustainability Trust, Para Kore, The Rubbish Trip, Kaicycle, Nonstop Solutions, Sustain Aotearoa, Usedfully and many more.

Further reading:

A Zero Waste Plan for Welly – Prepared by Waste Free Welly. Working draft version 1: 14 October 2021

Resource Recovery Centre Network for Pōneke – Prepared by Waste Free Welly, December 2020.