Solid Waste

Waste Solid Waste Indicators (what we measure)


Waste is generated as part of everyday living when people throw things away that they no longer require. Matamata-Piako is responsible for promoting effective and efficient waste management and waste reduction practices within the district. Refuse collection services are provided to approximately 8,500 households and 800 commercial properties throughout the district.

Our Situation

Waste at the refuse station


Within Matamata-Piako, Council has three refuse transfer stations, located at Waihou, Morrinsville and Matamata. Each is adjacent to closed, former landfills, which are managed to reduce unfavourable effects on the environment. Waste from the transfer stations is transported out of the district to a privately owned landfill at Tirohia, south of Paeroa.

Compliance of the district’s landfills with their respective resource consent conditions is monitored regularly. Council monitors the amount and quality of leachate from the landfills to nearby surface water bodies, both up and downstream of the landfill location. Council also monitors several sampling bores near the landfills. The groundwater quality at the sampling sites has been good–satisfactory since 2000. Council’s sampling sites achieved a compliance rate of 100 percent with Environment Waikato’s Standards during 2009/10. In 2010/11 the Waihou Refuse Dump and Matamata Landfill had high levels of compliance with their resource consent conditions. The Morrinsville Landfill had partial non compliance, due to monitoring not being undertaken at the agreed intervals, and some monitoring results not being provided. However, there were no environmental concerns: there was no damage in need of urgent attention, and the quality and quantity of leachate pumped from the landfill had remained consistent. From 2012/13 to 2017/18 there was 100% compliance.

Hazardous Waste

There were no reported incidents or spills involving hazardous waste in the district during the 2007/08 - 2009/10 period or in 2011/12. In both the 2010/11 and 2012/13 years there was one spillage of septage on to a roadway. There were no reported incidents in the three years until 2017/18

The Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017, which resulted in the merger of the New Zealand Fire Service with rural fire authorities to form Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) on 1st July 2017 also added the authority for expanded functions, including hazardous substance incident response. FENZ reported eight incidents during 2017/18 including leaking gas cylinders at business and industrial sites, and hazardous chemical spills at a milk processing plant and from a truck crossing the Kaimai Range.

Quantity of Waste Generated and Recycled

The following graphs show how much waste is being disposed of at Council-operated transfer stations in our district and how much of this waste is being recycled/composted. This excludes waste disposed of in commercially operated landfills.



Overall the amount of waste being disposed of at the waste transfer stations has steadily increased in the last four years. The reduction between 2011/12 and 2012/13 is due to the loss of the Council’s largest private customer that used the Council’s transfer stations to dispose of waste; however, this waste was still sent to landfill.

The percentage of our district’s waste being recycled or composted has increased since 2009/10. However, the graph above detailing the quantity of waste recycled varies from year to year. This is due to variation in the quantity of green waste being composted.

Other waste is collected in addition to the waste stream collected at Council’s transfer stations. Solid waste is also collected from screens at the district’s wastewater treatment plants, and sent directly to the Tirohia Landfill.  From 2010/11, this amount is included as an estimate in the “Total Waste to Landfill” figures below.



Matamata-Piako Waste Stream 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18
Quantity of hazardous waste collected at tranfer stations (tonnes) 0.2 1.2 0.71 1.5 0 0* 1.026 0* 0.87 0.57

*There is some variation in the yearly totals as hazardous waste is not collected at regular intervals. As it is not cost-effective to collect small quantities of hazardous waste, it is stored until collection is economically viable.

Other waste is collected in addition to the waste stream collected at Council’s transfer stations. Solid waste is also collected from screens at the district’s wastewater treatment plants, and sent directly to the Tirohia Landfill.  From 2010/11, this amount is included as an estimate in the Total Waste to Landfill figures below.

Total Waste Matamata-Piako (tonnes) 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18
Landfill at Tirohia (Waste water treatment plant) 20 23                
Total Waste to Landfill 9,530 8,456 8,000 7,833 5,471 4,680 4,566 4,801 5,144 5,743

*Approximate figure


What’s in Our Waste

The following graph shows the sources of waste deposited at transfer stations in the district, from a July 2010 survey. The largest proportion of waste entering our transfer stations comes from kerbside collections, from commercial and residential premises.



Organic material, which includes primarily food waste and greenwaste, comprised the largest proportion of the overall waste stream to landfill.

 Kerbside waste composition

kerbside waste composition

The above chart is from the Eastern Waikato Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, developed in 2012, and jointly used by Matamata-Piako, Hauraki and Thames Coromandel District Councils. Similar to earlier surveys, the highest proportion of waste that households put out for collection in the Matamata-Piako districts is organic, garden or food waste which, instead of being sent to landfill, can be composted or processed to generate energy. Paper and plastic are two other main sources of general waste which could be recycled, rather than sent to landfill.

What Council Is Doing

Council aims to lessen the negative impacts of landfills by spending money on preventing leachate entering receiving waters.

The Matamata landfill does not a have leachate collection system, however, Council treats any leachate produced from the now closed Morrinsville and Waihou landfills through the associated wastewater treatment plants. Leachate volumes and treatment cost is no longer recorded as it is not required under Council’s resource consents.

Council spending on leachate and receiving waters 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18
Amount spent ($) 30,000* 25,000 30,000 40,000 * * * * * *

Refuse Transfer Station




Council also contributes to reducing waste by operating recycling centres at the transfer stations. The collection of recyclable material is also undertaken as part of its kerbside refuse collection.   



Refuse Transfer StationParticipation rates for recycling ranged between 30% and 33% between 2000/01 and 2004/05. The 2006 Environmental Awareness, Attitudes and Actions Survey conducted in conjunction with the WRC showed that in 2006:

  • 50% of Matamata-Piako residents recycle glass
  • 49% of Matamata-Piako residents recycle plastic
  • 49% of Matamata-Piako residents recycle tins/cans and
  • 49% of Matamata-Piako residents recycle paper

Participation rates for municipal recycling have increased steadily to 64% in 2011/12, 83% in 2012/13 and 85% in 2013/14.

In 2017, 66% of properties within Matamata-Piako had access to Council kerbside recycling, according to the Eastern Waikato Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.

What You Can Do To Help

  • Compost green waste at home for use in the garden or establish a worm farm.
  • Recycle glass, paper and card, plastic, metals.
  • Reduce packaging. Buy products with less packaging.
  • Instead of throwing out goods that may be used by someone else, list them on your community’s Neighbourly website. 
  • Ensure you dispose of your waste in an appropriate manner. Don’t dump in an uncontrolled environment.

How are we Doing?

Anticipated Environmental Results

Solid waste


  • AchievingAchieving
  • Progress towards achievementProgress towards achievement
  • Not AchieveingNot Achieving
  • Not MonitoredNot Monitored
A reduction in the number of contamination incidents caused by indiscriminate and poorly managed waste disposal


(no repeated cases)

Minimal adverse effects from hazardous substances


Progressive reduction in the generation of solid waste including hazardous waste

Progress towards  achievement

Solid waste (excluding timber and rubble)


Hazardous waste

Safe and effective solid waste storage and disposal Not Monitored
Reduction in adverse effects on the environment


Click here to learn more about District Plan Effectiveness and read the full report on Solid Waste


Useful Links

Matamata-Piako State of the Environment Report 1999


The Waikato Regional Council's Waikato waste and resource efficiency strategy 2015-18


Zero Waste New Zealand Trust

Eastern Waikato Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 



For More Information

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Customer Services
Matamata-Piako District Council
PO Box 266, Te Aroha 3342
Phone: 07 884 0060
Fax: 07 884 8865