Zero Waste in Waikato District (including Hamilton and Whāingaroa/Raglan)

Zero Waste in Waikato District (including Hamilton and Whāingaroa/Raglan)

This guide covers the Waikato District only (specifically, Hamilton and Whāingaroa/Raglan). For other districts in the Waikato Region, please refer to the Zero Waste in the Waikato Region post.

Hamilton

Food options (i.e. stores that offer loose items which you can put, unpackaged, into your own BYO bags/containers)

  • Bin Inn St Andrews, 21 Braid Road, St Andrews; Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale; Bin Inn Hamilton East, 1B/20 Clyde Street, Hamilton East – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, and legumes), a range of spices, liquid foods (including vinegars, oils and syrups), sweets and treats, and items essential for zero waste living, such as baking soda, salt and other specialty baking/cooking goods. They also have a peanut butter extruder, just BYO jar! Both Bin Inn Hamilton East and Bin Inn Dinsdale stock a range of organic bulk food, as well as bars of Loving Earth chocolate (which comes in home compostable packaging). Bin Inn Dinsdale also stocks bars of Trade Aid chocolate (which come in home compostable packaging), and a great range of harder to find bulk liquids, including Loopline Olives’ olive oil, organic maple syrup and organic raw honey. All Bin Inn stores around New Zealand are currently offering 5% discount when you bring your own containers!
  • Frankton Fresh, 160 Commerce Street, Frankton – a really great range of affordable dried food in bulk, including legumes, grains, rice, flours, legumes, nuts, dried fruit and spices.
  • SS Spices & Groceries, 63 Kent Street, Frankton – a really great range of affordable dried food in bulk, including legumes, grains, rice, flours, legumes, nuts, dried fruit and spices.
  • Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton – stocks lots of organic food sold in bulk bins, including flours, grains, sugars and rice, legumes/pulses, nuts, seeds and dried fruit, and carob and cocoa nibs. Also stock liquid foods in bulk (BYO bottle), including olive oil, vinegar and tamari. The store also stocks bars of Trade Aid chocolate (which comes in home compostable packaging), and you can get pre-made foods, such as pies and other deli items, unpackaged (if you BYO container).
  • Yogiji’s Foodmart, 89 Greenwood Road, Frankton – stocks a range of bulk bins with dried food, including legumes, grains, rice, flours, sugars, legumes, nuts, dried fruit, spices, and salt.
  • Maharaja Food and Spices, 42 Avalon Drive, Nawton -stocks a range of bulk bins with dried food, including legumes, grains, rice, flours, sugars, legumes, nuts, dried fruit, spices, and salt.
  • Khyber Foods and Spices, 6 Fifth Avenue, Claudelands – a really good range of bulk bins full of legumes, grains, rice, flours, sugars, legumes, nuts, dried fruit, spices, and salt.
  • PAK’nSave, Mill Street, Hamilton – the deli at this supermarket will put food into BYO containers (including cuts of meat).
  • Mishmash Juice and Organics, 695 Grey Street, Hamilton East – lots of dried organic food in bulk bins here, including grains and rice, flours, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  • Hearth Grocer, Lovegrove Lane, 1b/394 Grey Street, Hamilton East – a cute little store with a small, but carefully selected range of food, much of which is available with packaging free, including legumes, dried fruit and nuts, bulk olive oil (BYO bottle), local, seasonal and organic fruit and produce, bread, and in-house deli food (BYO containers!)
  • Baker’s Delight, Clyde Street Shopping Centre, Shop 1A, Hamilton East – you can get unpackaged bread here (just BYO bag). Excitingly, this includes sliced bread – just ask to have the sliced bread put into your own bag.
  • Food 4 Less, 674 Te Rapa Road, Hamilton – stocks a variety of bulk foods, including legumes, grains, rice, flours, sugars, legumes, nuts, dried fruit, spices, and salt.
  • The Herbal Shop & Clinic, 2 Lorne Street, Melville – this store has a cute section of unpackaged herbs and spices. They also stock glass jars of Kokonati coconut oil, which have no plastic seal around the lid.
  • Trade Aid, 4/19 Worley Place, Hamilton Central – Trade Aid’s entire chocolate range comes in packaging that is compostable in a home compost! In fact, this extra special packaging is made by Econic, right here in Hamilton! Their 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are compostable also. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid.
  • Okashi House, 118 Alexandra Street, Hamilton Central – stocks Japanese sweets and snacks in little bulk bins!
  • The Country Providore (next to Punnet Cafe), 337 Newell Road, Hamilton – stocks unpackaged fudge (just BYO bag/container) and bars of Loving Earth chocolate (which come in home compostable packaging).
  • Hamilton Farmers’ Market, Gate 3, Brooklyn Road, Claudelands – there’s no two ways about it, if you want to get a good source of unpackaged, locally grown, high quality produce, farmers markets are the place to frequent! We’ve found that markets, where you can meet the grower/producer face-to-face, are really great for starting fruitful conversations about waste-free food, and developing relationships and systems that enable you to get your favourite fruit, vege and preserves without the packaging.

Drink options

  • Coffee – look out for places that sell loose coffee beans/grinds and BYO bag/container to fill up. Our fave was Rocket Coffee, 302 Barton Street, Hamilton Central, where the staff are more than happy to put their delicious, locally roasted coffee straight into your BYO bag. Other places that stock loose coffee beans/grinds which you can have put in your own bag/container are Bin Inn Hamilton East, 1B/20 Clyde Street, Hamilton East and Urge Coffee and Tea Boutique, 2/371 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central. If you are into instant coffee, check out Trade Aid, 4/19 Worley Place, Hamilton Central because their instant coffee comes in Econic home compostable packaging.
  • Tea – because most tea bags have plastic in them, we encourage people to use loose tea leaves rather than bags. Finding loose tea leaves unpackaged is not always easy. The best range of unpackaged teas we found were at The Herbal Shop & Clinic, 2 Lorne Street, Melville. You can also find plain, black tea leaves in bulk at Khyber Foods and Spices, 6 Fifth Avenue, Claudelands.
  • Drinking chocolate – look out for places that sell drinking chocolate or cocoa powder in bulk and fill up BYO bags/containers. All three Bin Inn stores around Hamilton offer this option. If you are into fairtrade and organic, look out for Kokako‘s drinking chocolate, which comes in Econic packaging that is compostable in a home compost. You can find this at Bin Inn Hamilton East, 1B/20 Clyde street, Hamilton East.
  • Beer – look for places that sell beer on tap and BYO flagon/bottle to fill up. Some great places that we came across that offer this option are Hamilton Beer & Wine Co, 856 Victoria Street; Good George (Frankton), 32A Somerset Street, Frankton; and Liquorland Rototuna, 16 Horsham Downs Road, Rototuna.

Kitchen/food packaging alternatives

  • Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton – stocks wooden dishbrushes with replaceable heads that are home compostable, wooden and natural fibre vege brushes, Spruce cellulose and cotton dishcloth sponges that are home compostable when they reach the end of their life, beeswax wraps, Cuppa Coffee Cup (NZ-made reusable takeaway coffee cup), Rethink organic cotton produce bags, bulk bin bags, string bags and bread bags, reusable metal straws, reusable snack and sandwich bags (alternative to Glad Wrap and plastic ziplock bags), reusable metal drink bottles, and Meals in Steel stainless steel containers/lunchboxes (a great alternative to disposable takeaway containers).
  • Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton – stocks wooden dishbrushes with replaceable heads that are home compostable, organic cotton dish cloths, and beeswax wrap.
  • Hearth Grocer, Lovegrove Lane, 1b/394 Grey Street, Hamilton East – stocks beeswax wraps and Rethink organic cotton produce bags.
  • Needle in the Hay, 300a Racquet Lane (off Barton Street), Hamilton Central – stocks Wet-It! spongey dishcloths that are 100% cellulose and cotton (so they’re home compostable at the end of their life), beeswax wrap (wrapped in craft paper), as well as beeswax candles that could be melted down and used to make your own beeswax wrap, reusable metal straws, and wooden dishbrushes with reusable, home compostable heads.
  • Urge Coffee and Tea Boutique, 2/371 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central – stocks Cuppa Coffee Cup (NZ-made reusable takeaway coffee cup), Keep Cup, and reusable water bottles.
  • The Scullery, 371 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central – stocks silicone pot/bowl covers (an alternative to Glad Wrap and tin foil), reusable metal drink bottles, and Zuperzozial reusable takeaway coffee cups. WARNING – although this store also stocks wooden dishbrushes with replaceable heads, note that the replaceable heads have plastic bristles so they are NOT home compostable, so don’t buy the dishbrushes here (there are other places in the city that stock the real deal).
  • Chi Chi Deluxe – Funky Gifts, 299 Barton Street, Hamilton – stocks reusable metal water bottlesand Cuppa Coffee Cup (NZ-made reusable takeaway coffee cup).
  • @cquisitions, Te Awa Mall at The Base – stocks ceramic, reusable takeaway coffee cups and silicone pot/bowl covers (an alternative to Glad Wrap and tin foil).
  • The Country Providore (next to Punnet Cafe), 337 Newell Road, Hamilton – stocks beeswax wraps, reusable metal straws, JOCO Cups (reusable glass takeaway coffee cups), and Bianca Lorrene cotton cloths that can be used as natural fibre dishcloths.

Cleaning Products

  • Bin Inn St Andrews, 21 Braid Road, St Andrews; Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale; Bin Inn Hamilton East, 1B/20 Clyde Street, Hamilton East – stock a wide range of both liquid and powdered cleaning products/ingredients you can fill your own bottles and containers with. Bin Inn Hamilton East and Bin Inn Dinsdale stock refills of Ecostore cleaning products and bars of Dr. Bronner’s castille soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid.
  • Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton – stocks Go Bamboo wooden clothes pegs, SoapNuts NZ that come in a cardboard box without a plastic inner lining, and bulk refills of Ecostore cleaning products (just BYO bottle).
  • Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton – stocks bars of Dr. Bronner’s castille soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid.
  • The Herbal Shop & Clinic, 2 Lorne Street, Melville – stocks bars of Dr. Bronner’s castille soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid.

Bathroom Products

  • Bin Inn St Andrews, 21 Braid Road, St Andrews; Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale; Bin Inn Hamilton East, 1B/20 Clyde Street, Hamilton East – stock bars of unpackaged soap. Bin Inn Hamilton East and Bin Inn Dinsdale also stock Go Bamboo toothbrushes (which have a wooden handle that is home compostable). Bin Inn Dinsdale also stocks a range of bulk refills of Eco Store shampoo, conditioner and body wash, as well as Go Bamboo home compostable cotton buds.
  • Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton – stocks Go Bamboo toothbrushes (with wooden, home compostable handles) and home compostable cotton buds; wooden and natural fibre nail scrubbing brushes; Greencane toilet paper (that is wrapped in home compostable packaging); bulk refills of Eco Store hand + body wash (BYO bottle), reusable washable pads and menstrual cups, Ethique bars of shampoo, facial products and deodorant (which come packaged only in cardboard), as well as locally made shampoo bars.
  • Needle in the Hay, 300a Racquet Lane (off Barton Street), Hamilton Central – stocks bars of locally made, unpackaged soap made using local roaster Rocket Coffee‘s grinds.
  • Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton – stocks Greencane toilet paper (that is wrapped in home compostable packaging), unpackaged bars of soap, Go Bamboo toothbrushes (with wooden, home compostable handles) and home compostable cotton buds.
  • Hearth Grocer, Lovegrove Lane, 1b/394 Grey Street, Hamilton East – stocks Smartass toilet paper (individual rolls of toilet paper wrapped in home compostable tissue paper), Greencane toilet paper (wrapped in home compostable packaging), and unpackaged bars of soap.
  • Naturally Healthy, 106 London Street, Hamilton – stocks Go Bamboo toothbrushes (which have a wooden handle that is home compostable).
  • The Country Providore (next to Punnet Cafe), 337 Newell Road, Hamilton – stocks bars of soap by Wouldn’t Know ‘Em from a Bar of Soap Co., which include shaving soap bars, shampoo bars, as well as regular handwashing bars (great for avoiding those pesky plastic bottles!)
  • Hamilton Gardens Shop, Hungerford Crescent, SH1 (off Cobham Drive), Hamilton – stocks bars of soap by Wouldn’t Know ‘Em from a Bar of Soap Co., which include shaving soap bars, shampoo bars, as well as regular handwashing bars (great for avoiding those pesky plastic bottles!)

Community groups and supportive networks

  • Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton – Hamilton’s wonderful environment centre is an excellent hub for all kinds of sustainable living, including tips and resources for low-waste lifestyles. Go Eco runs and also hosts workshops on how to garden, compost and make your own cleaning and bathroom products (essential skills if you want to embark on life without a rubbish bin!). They’re also home to a depot for recycling hard-to-recycle items, including electronic devices, batteries, light bulbs and toner cartridges – yus! Not only that, but these legendery people also run Kaivolution Food Rescue, a food redistribution service rescuing edible food that would otherwise go to waste from food retailers and producers around the city, and redistributing that food to community groups and people that need it.
  • Hamilton Organic, 18 Wickham Street, Frankton – want to make sure your green waste gets properly composted? Take it along to Hamilton Organics and they’ll sort it out for you. Check their website for pricing (you pay by weight).
  • Community Gardens – growing your own kai is a great way to get food packaging-free (and just free generally…). There’s nothing like a community garden for helping you learn to garden and compost, or just providing you with a space to practice your skills, in an urban context. Community gardens are popping up around Hamilton, including Waimarie Community Garden at Hamilton East Community House, 53 Wellington Street, Hamilton East; and Grandview Community Garden.
  • Plastic Bag Free Hamilton East/Boomerang Bags – get yourself some lovely cloth bags instead of plastic shopping bags from the Plastic Bag Free Hamilton East crew. You can find their bags around Hamilton East, including Hearth Grocer, Lovegrove Lane, 1b/394 Grey Street. If you’re a sewer, sign up to help sew a few if you feel up to it! The Boomerang Bags movement is taking NZ by storm, so it’s a great opportunity to get amongst it 🙂
  • Para Kore – Para Kore is an amazing organisation working with marae, kura and Māori institutions and businesses to transition towards zero waste. Their resources/services are free and their regional kaiārahi are totally fabulous. Para Kore’s Kaiārahi for Waikato, Hauraki, Maniapoto and Raukawa is Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman – if you’re keen for some awhi with waste reduction, she’d be stoked to hear from you 🙂

Whāingaroa/Raglan

Food options (i.e. stores that offer loose items which you can put, unpackaged, into your own BYO bags/containers)

  • WOK (Whāingaroa Organic Kai), 3-5 Wainui Road – a one-stop shop for all your packaging-free needs (and all organic)! A great variety of food in bulk bins (including the hard to find bulk pasta), from grains, flours, rice and sugars, through to nuts, seeds and dried fruit. You can also get refills of oils, vinegar and tamari (just BYO bottles). The store also stocks bars of Trade Aid and Loving Earth chocolate, both of which come in home compostable packaging.
  • The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street – stocks a range of bulk bins with organic grains, flours, rice, sugars, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. They also stock unpackaged bread, freshly baked in Hamilton.
  • Trade Aid, 15 Bow Street, Raglan – Trade Aid’s entire chocolate range comes in Econic packaging that is compostable in a home compost! Their 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are compostable also. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid.
  • Solscape, 611 Wainui Road – if you happen to be staying at this excellent eco accommodation (a bit of a Raglan institution), then note that they sell bars of Trade Aid chocolate (which come in home compostable wrappers) and there are plenty of permaculture, organic gardens with leafy greens and other Solscape grown kai that you are welcome to pick from for your evening meals.

Drink options

  • Coffee – Look no further than Raglan Roast, Volcom Lane, where the staff are more than happy to put their delicious, locally roasted coffee straight into your BYO bag. If you are into instant coffee, check out Trade Aid, 15 Bow Street because their instant coffee comes in Econic home compostable packaging.
  • Tea – because most tea bags have plastic in them, we encourage people to use loose tea leaves rather than bags. Finding loose tea leaves unpackaged is not always easy. The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, sells a lot of tea that they obviously repackage in-store, so you might be able to try your luck getting them to pack tea straight into your own bags/containers.

Kitchen/food packaging alternatives

  • WOK (Whāingaroa Organic Kai), 3-5 Wainui Road – stocks wooden dish brushes with replaceable, home compostable heads.
  • The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street – stocks beeswax wraps, spongey dishcloths made of 100% cellulose and cotton (so they are home compostable at the end of their life), wooden dish brushes with replaceable, home compostable heads, reusable metal straws, and Rethink organic cotton produce and bulk bin bags.

Cleaning Products

  • WOK (Whāingaroa Organic Kai), 3-5 Wainui Road – you can refill bulk eco cleaning products, like dishwashing detergent, here – just BYO bottle. Also stocks wooden clothes pegs.
  • The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street – stocks wooden clothes pegs, and bars of Dr. Bronner’s castille soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid.

Bathroom Products

  • WOK (Whāingaroa Organic Kai), 3-5 Wainui Road – stocks bars of unpackaged soap, Go Bamboo and Grin toothbrushes that have wooden, home compostable handles, and Go Bamboo home compostable cotton buds.
  • The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street – stocks bars of unpackaged soap, Go Bamboo toothbrushes that have wooden, home compostable handles, Go Bamboo home compostable cotton buds, and zinc oxide sunscreen in a cardboard tube.

Community groups and supportive networks

  • Xtreme Zero Waste, 186 Te Hutewai Road – as any Raglan local will know, Xtreme Zero Waste is a total taonga for the community, and for New Zealand generally. Since 2000, Xtreme Zero Waste has been managing and minimising Whāingaroa’s waste, with huge success; they currently divert about 75% of Raglan’s waste from landfill and this figure is probably even higher since the organisation instituted its food waste kerbside collection in mid-2017. But Xtreme is not just about kerbside waste collection, they’re also a resource and recovery centre of epic proportions! Go in during their opening hours and you can drop off all kinds of hard-to-recycle items (including e-waste, appliances, batteries and tyres), have your green waste put to good use, and leave with all kinds of diamonds in the rough (Xtreme rescues, repurposes, upcycles and resells items and materials that have been discarded, from wood, metal, building materials, through to bric-a-brac, clothing and books). Xtreme is an actual treasure trove and we would urge anyone to go and check it out (even if you are only visiting Raglan, it’s a legitimate destination!!)
  • Whāingaroa Environment Centre, 41 Bow Street – Raglan’s thriving environment centre offers heaps of projects that can help with low-waste living. They use sharing economies to reduce wasteful over-duplication of resources in the community, and increase access to high quality goods and services through initiatives like the tool library (reducing the number of households in the community that need to own their own tools) and Backyard Bounty. The environment centre also coordinates the community gardens around Raglan – a great way to learn to garden and compost (and to have space to garden if you don’t have much space where you live). Growing your own food is, of course, an excellent method of getting unpackaged food 😉
  • Raglan Timebank – we are quite fanatical about timebanking because it’s such an excellent way to share skills of creation and repair which reduces our reliance on corporations, our waste and our need for consumption. Raglan has a timebank, so if you’re interested, we highly recommend checking it out!
  • Crop Swap Raglan – an excellent way to get locally grown, unpackaged produce for free! Just bring something you’ve made by your own hands to share. Having started in Taranaki, Crop Swap is really sweeping New Zealand, so it’s great to have one on your doorstep in Raglan.
  • Plastic Bag Free Raglan/Pēke Kirikou Kore Whāingaroa – if you’re into the reduction of plastic bags in our communities, Plastic Bag Free Raglan is leading the way. You may have heard that, thanks to their efforts, Raglan’s Four Square has become the first in the country to go plastic bag free. Plastic Bag Free Raglan has also been working to produce beautiful, upcycled cloth bags for the community to use instead of plastic bags. You can get these around Raglan, including at the Whāingaroa Environment Centre. If you’re interested in being involved in sewing some of these bags, then you can join Plastic Bag Free Raglan’s sewing group, Bag It Raglan, which meets fortnightly to sew bags.
  • Para Kore – Para Kore is an amazing organisation working with marae, kura and Māori institutions and businesses to transition towards zero waste. Their resources/services are free and their regional kaiārahi are totally fabulous. Para Kore’s national headquarters are located in Raglan, which is also home to the organisation’s General Manager, Jacqui Forbes. Para Kore’s Kaiārahi for Waikato, Hauraki, Maniapoto and Raukawa is Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman – if you’re keen for some awhi with waste reduction, she’d be stoked to hear from you 🙂


2 thoughts on “Zero Waste in Waikato District (including Hamilton and Whāingaroa/Raglan)”

  • Hi guys 🙂 Great guide, thanks so much I’ll save it for future reference.
    Keeping in the Hamilton East area, the Bakers Delight in Clyde St mall (near Bin Inn Ham East) is happy to put sliced bread in your own bag if you want. They did look at me a bit funny when I requested it but were happy to do so.
    Also, for people who eat meat, the deli and butchery at Pak N Save Mill Street have been willing to put items into my own containers to save the soft plastics there as well.

    • Thanks for this Leah! We will add these tips in – sliced bread into a BYO bag is a great discovery!

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