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The way to go is PAY-AS-YOU-THROW

Bins keep our streets cleaner and safer for everyone
and save you money.
• By using bins, you help reduce the amount of plastic sent to landfill.
• Bins are flexible, by using Pay-As-You-Throw you only put your
rubbish out when the bin is full. Plus, there are no contracts.
• Plastic bags attract pests. Keep your waste secure in a bin.
• Since this service was launched in 2017 about 20 million fewer
Auckland Council plastic bags have gone to landfill.
When your rubbish bin is full, attach a fresh tag to the handle,
and take it out to the kerbside by 7am on your collection day.


Why is Auckland moving to region-wide rates-funded rubbish collections?

Auckland Council is moving all of Auckland to a rates-funded rubbish collection service because it is the simplest, most cost-effective, equitable and climate friendly option to achieve waste minimisation outcomes. 

A region-wide rates-funded rubbish collection service will offer a choice of three bin sizes to accommodate different household needs. The service is also more cost effective than the previously planned pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) model with bin tags or pre-paid bags.

  • Auckland Central and Manukau have a rates-based service already, but for the rest of the region, this means no more bin tags or pre-paid bags.
  • Bags will still be available in rural areas and central Auckland where bins aren't suitable. 

Auckland aspires to be Zero Waste by 2040. Zero Waste is a long-term goal, and we are steadily working towards this.

Was pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) not effective?

For the majority of Aucklanders, PAYT is not driving waste minimisation as it had been anticipated although it does benefit some households who are very low waste producers. 

A detailed analysis that compared similar households across rates funded and PAYT areas found little difference in the amount of waste produced. This indicates that the financial disincentive created by PAYT does not strongly influence behaviour to reduce waste. 

Our research found that the PAYT system does not uniquely influence waste minimisation. There are households in both rates-funded areas and PAYT areas that hardly ever fill a rubbish bin. 

Evidence suggests reducing bin sizes and collection frequency promotes waste minimisation:

Evidence from other cities in Aotearoa New Zealand including Hamilton (which has weekly food scraps and fortnightly refuse and recycling) and overseas shows that positive waste minimisation outcomes can be achieved when efforts are focused on:

  • increasing access to services that divert waste away from landfill such as the recycling and food scraps collection services that are easy to use
  • having community education programmes to maximise awareness and knowledge about using the services properly and creating a sense of responsibility
  • reducing access to available refuse volume to encourage use of diversion services by restricting collection frequency and/or bin size.

What are the benefits of a region-wide rates-funded service?

With everyone on the same service, council's general operating costs per household for all three services are lower. Those cost savings are passed on to the customer.

It also means that the council can encourage customers to take full advantage of the diversion services – recycling and the food scraps recycling service.

When using the three bins efficiently together, many households will find that they can comfortably move to the smaller 80L bin, and save even more money that way, as the 80L refuse bin will be offered at a reduced rate.

The introduction of the food scraps recycling service is a game-changer for Auckland in terms of reducing waste to landfill and reducing our emissions from landfill gas. But to be successful, people need to use it. Having the majority of customers on a rates-funded model gives Auckland the greatest opportunity to achieve a high uptake of the food scraps recycling service and reducing our emissions.

What about the impact on illegal dumping?

We have not seen a correlation between illegal dumping and the way in which people pay for their rubbish service. There are hotspots of illegal dumping in both rates-funded and PAYT areas.

Where can I find out more?

The full report that was presented to the Finance and Performance Committee on 8 December 2021 can be found here.

When did customers have their say?

The change to region-wide rates-funded was consulted on in the 2022/2023 Annual Plan and Aucklanders had the opportunity to have their say as part of this consultation.

  • The majority of Aucklanders who submitted through the consultation supported the rationale for paying for refuse services through rates.

Auckland’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2018 was updated in September 2022.

When will my service change?

You can find out more at

On this page there is information about:

  • How the changes to the rubbish service will affect your area
  • Bin tags ending soon
  • Commercial area rubbish service changes
  • Multi-unit dwellings collection service changes

As we move through the project more information will be added.


You can sign up to receive text reminders about changes to your collection day. This service is available for our rubbish, recycling and food scraps collections.