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

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

This guide covers Hamilton City and 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.


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Our heartfelt gratitude to Sugarcube Studios, the creators of EcoSpot, for bringing our guides to life – designing a map for us and creating such joyful imagery to go with it!


Lots of pantry staples – from flours, grains and rice, through to condiments, spices, legumes, nuts, seeds and liquid foods – usually come in single-use packets. These shops stock all manner of pantry foods loose in bulk bins (or operate return & refill systems for their packaging), allowing you to put these goods straight into your own bags, jars, containers and bottles, and skip the packaging!

  • 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. Bin Inn Dinsdale also stocks a great range of harder to find bulk liquids, including 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.
  • 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.
  • 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), and local, seasonal and organic fruit and produce.
  • 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.
  • Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood – a small range of bulk bins with organic nuts, seeds and grains.
  • WOK (Whāingaroa Organic Kai), 3-5 Wainui Road, Raglan – 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 Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan – stocks a range of bulk bins with organic grains, flours, rice, sugars, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
  • Supermarkets – most major supermarkets have well stocked bulk bin/pick and mix sections with wholefoods (BYO bags for these). However supermarket bulk aisles are pretty expensive, often more so than equivalent ingredients in packets (bah!), and more so than the bulk bins at places like Steve’s or Bin Inn.


The following shops sell unpackaged meat, sausages, smallgoods, seafood, cheese and/or deli foods and will happily put these straight into a BYO container – woohoo! ** CAN YOU HELP US UPDATE THIS SECTION?**

  • Hearth Grocer, Lovegrove Lane, 1b/394 Grey Street, Hamilton East – in-house deli food (BYO containers)
  • Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton – you can get pre-made foods, such as pies and other deli items, unpackaged (if you BYO container).
  • Supermarket delis – Most supermarkets have a deli section offering unpackaged meat, seafood, olives and other antipasti, salads, lunch foods and more. All Countdown, New World and PAK’nSAVE supermarkets officially allow you to BYO container for these goods!


The following stores bake and sell unpackaged bread and bakery goods (in some of these stores some items might be pre-packed or wrapped in cling film, just avoid those things!). Simply BYO bread bag to put the bread/bakery goods into. Some places will bag up their bread later in the day, so you want to get in there before they do that (i.e. before 1pm). ** CAN YOU HELP US UPDATE THIS SECTION?**

  • Hearth Grocer, Lovegrove Lane, 1b/394 Grey Street, Hamilton East
  • 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.
  • The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan
  • Most supermarkets (and even some Four Squares) stock unpackaged bread, bread rolls and/or bakery goods in their bakery section – just pop them into your BYO bags!


  • Markets – No two ways about it, if you want a good source of unpackaged (often locally grown) produce, markets are the place to go! At most markets you can meet the grower/producer face-to-face, making them an ideal place to start fruitful conversations about waste-free food, and to develop relationships and systems that enable you to get your favourite fruit, vege and preserves without the packaging. You may also find local producers of pre-made foods like tofu, preserves and sauces etc. Have a chat to see if you can leave containers with the stall holders for them to fill with your desired product for you to pick up from them the following week, or if the stallholder uses glass jars for packaging, ask whether they will take their empty glass jars back for sterilisation and reuse. Check out the Hamilton Farmers’ Market, Gate 3, Brooklyn Road, Claudelands.
  • Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s 1.5kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home compostable when they do wear out. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid. You can get these products at Trade Aid, 4/19 Worley Place, Hamilton Central; and Trade Aid, 15 Bow Street, Raglan. You can also get the sugar at Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Hamilton.
  • Unpackaged chocolate/truffles/fudge/sweets – a few shops have sweet treats unpackaged that you can have put into your own containers:
    • 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 – unpackaged fudge.

 


Look out for places that sell whole or ground coffee beans unpackaged, and bring your own bag and container to fill. Going direct to coffee roasters is the best option, but you can also look out for bulk dispensers of unpackaged coffee in other stores (which usually have in-store grinders also). Here are the spots we found that offer these options:

  • Rocket Coffee, 302 Barton Street, Hamilton Central (a coffee roaster)
  • Bin Inn Hamilton East, 1B/20 Clyde Street, Hamilton East
  • Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale
  • Raglan Roast/Brown Lightening Bros, Volcom Lane, Raglan; and Te Rapa Road, Hamilton (a coffee roaster)
  • Urge Coffee and Tea Boutique, 2/371 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central.


We avoid teabags as most have plastic in them, which we don’t want in our tea or our soil. Using loose leaf tea is an easy way to get around this. The trick is to find somewhere that sells loose leaf tea packaging-free, so you can put the leaves straight into BYO jars/containers! You’ll find loose tea leaves in bulk dispensers at:

  • The Herbal Shop & Clinic, 2 Lorne Street, Melville.
  • Khyber Foods and Spices, 6 Fifth Avenue, Claudelands.
  • The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan 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.
  • Bell‘s loose leaf tea is packaged in 100% paper and cardboard and is readily available at most supermarkets, Four Squares and dairies.


Sourcing cow’s milk without the plastic bottles or non-dairy milk without the dreaded Tetra-pak is no mean feat! We’ve found the following options:

  • Milk delivery in reusable glass bottlesDreamview Creamery home delivers their milk in reusable glass bottles (just like the old days!), on a Tuesday in Hamilton, or in Raglan on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Leave your empty bottles out on the next delivery day so they can be returned to Dreamview Creamery for sterilisation and refill. YAY! 
  • Return & Refill glass bottle schemeDreamview Creamery sells milk in reusable glass bottles – you can get your hands on them at Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale and Four Square Raglan, 3 Bankart Street, Raglan. How does the system work? The first time you buy a bottle of milk, you pay a little extra to cover the cost of the bottle and to ensure that you return it when you’re done. Return empty bottles to any stockist of the milk, and exchange it for a full bottle for only the price of the milk (or else get your deposit back). The empties are then returned to Dreamview Creamery for sterilisation and reuse – so the bottles just go around and around – true zero waste!


Look out for places that sell beer on tap and BYO bottles/flagons to fill up. Breweries are awesome, but lots of liquor stores offer this option too! We found beer on tap at:

Also, don’t forget that most liquor stores do ‘swappa crates’ of beer – i.e. crates of twelve 745ml bottles of classic NZ beer (e.g. Lion Red/Brown, Speights, Tui, Export Gold etc.) which can be returned (when the bottles are empty) and are then sent back to the brewery for sterilisation and refill (a better outcome for glass bottles than recycling because reusing the same bottle over and over requires way less energy and resources than recycling).


  • 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.


Reusable drinking vessels (cups and water bottles)

Say “no more” to disposable takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles by getting yourself reusables instead! Get reusable water bottles at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton (metal); Urge Coffee and Tea Boutique, 2/371 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central; The Scullery, 371 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central (metal); Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood (metal); and Chi Chi Deluxe – Funky Gifts, 299 Barton Street, Hamilton (metal).

There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in Hamilton:

  • Find the Keep Cup brand at Urge Coffee and Tea Boutique, 2/371 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central.
  • The NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton; Urge Coffee and Tea Boutique, 2/371 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central; Chi Chi Deluxe – Funky Gifts, 299 Barton Street, Hamilton
  • You can get glass Joco Cups at The Country Providore (next to Punnet Cafe), 337 Newell Road, Hamilton; Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale;  and Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood
  • Zuperzozial bamboo cups are sold at The Scullery, 371 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central.
  • A brandless ceramic coffee cup is sold at @cquisitions, Te Awa Mall at The Base.

Reusable lunch boxes/containers

Reusable lunch boxes or containers are great to have on you when you’re out and about in case you want to get takeaways, to carry leftovers home with you, or if you find food to forage. You can get Meals in Steel stainless steel lunchboxes and food containers at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton. Also, Ever Eco stainless steel bento snack boxes are sold at Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood

Reusable bags (shopping bags, produce bags and bulk bin bags)

Plastic shopping bags are a menace, but so too are those plastic produce bags for fruit and vege or the plastic bags often offered alongside bulk bins at bulk stores. You can avoid them by bringing your own bags or buying a set of reusable produce bags. You can get Rethink 100% organic cotton produce, bulk bin and/or string shopping bags at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton and Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road,Dinsdalee; Hearth Grocer, Lovegrove Lane, 1b/394 Grey Street, Hamilton East; and The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan. A range of other 100% cotton produce bags are sold at Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood

Reusable straws

Say “no straw thanks” next time you order a drink out and either use your mouth to drink, or get yourself a reusable metal straw instead. If you’re keen on a reusable metal straw, you can get them from Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton; Needle in the Hay, 300a Racquet Lane (off Barton Street), Hamilton Central; Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale; Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood; The Country Providore (next to Punnet Cafe), 337 Newell Road, Hamilton; and The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan.

Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil

  • Beeswax wrap 
    • Purchase at – Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton; Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton; Hearth Grocer, Lovegrove Lane, 1b/394 Grey Street, Hamilton East; Needle in the Hay, 300a Racquet Lane (off Barton Street), Hamilton Central; Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood; The Country Providore (next to Punnet Cafe), 337 Newell Road, Hamilton; and The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan.
    • DIY – waaaaay cheaper! You just need natural fibre fabric and some beeswax. You can get fabric offcuts and fat quarters from places like Bernina Sewing Centre, 131 Pembroke Street, Hamilton and Knit World, 651 Victoria Street, Hamilton. You can get big blocks of unpackaged beeswax at Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale
  • Reusable sandwich bags – you can get these alternatives to Glad Wrap and plastic ziplock bags at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton.
  • Silicone pot/bowlcovers – a good option for storing leftovers in a bowl (other than just putting a plate on top!) or as an alternative to tin foil for roasting (as the covers can withstand temperatures of up to 220 degrees and will also keep hot food warm when transporting). You can buy these at The Scullery, 371 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central; and @cquisitions, Te Awa Mall at The Base.


Refills of cleaning products

The following stores stock liquid and/or powdered cleaning products in bulk dispensers – BYO bottles/containers!

  • Bin Inn Hamilton East, 1B/20 Clyde Street, Hamilton East (Ecostore)
  • Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale (Ecostore)
  • Go Eco, 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton (Ecostore)
  • WOK (Whāingaroa Organic Kai), 3-5 Wainui Road, Raglan.

Low-waste dishwashing

You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton; Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton; Needle in the Hay, 300a Racquet Lane (off Barton Street), Hamilton Central; Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale; Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood; WOK (Whāingaroa Organic Kai), 3-5 Wainui Road, Raglan; and The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan. WARNING – although The Scullery 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).

Home compostable veggie brushes (which you can use as a handle-less dishbrush) are sold at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton; and Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood

We also encourage people to move away from using dishclothes, sponges and bench wipes made out of synthetic material (as these leach microfibres and they’re also destined for landfill when they wear down) and to use natural fibre cloths instead:

  • For something more like a traditional dishcloth sponge, check out the SPRUCE or Wet-it! 100% cotton + cellulose dishcloth sponges (home compostable at the end of their life) which are available at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton; Needle in the Hay, 300a Racquet Lane (off Barton Street), Hamilton Central; Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood; and The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan.
  • Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton stocks 100% organic cotton dish cloths.
  • Fancy Bianca Lorrene 100% cotton cloths are available at The Country Providore (next to Punnet Cafe), 337 Newell Road, Hamilton.
  • Get unpackaged wads of cotton cloths/muslin that can be used as dishcloths at Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale

Laundry

  • Soapnuts are a natural berry containing saponin, so can be used for laundry. Once the berries are spent, you can home compost them. Soapnuts NZ soapnuts come in a cardboard box with no plastic lining. You can get them at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton. There’s also That Red House Soapberries which are in a paper bag inside a cotton pouch, sold at Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood
  • Alternatives to plastic clothes pegs – Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton; Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood; WOK (Whāingaroa Organic Kai), 3-5 Wainui Road, Raglan; and The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan stock Go Bamboo wooden clothes pegs.

Ingredients for DIY cleaning products

  • Baking soda – available unpackaged in bulk bins at 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.
  • Bars of castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) – get Dr Bronner’s castile bars at Bin Inn Hamilton East; Bin Inn DinsdaleVillage Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton; Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood; The Herbal Shop & Clinic, 2 Lorne Street, Melville; and The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan.
  • Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale stocks things like borax, soda ash, epsom salts and caustic soda.


Zero waste teeth and mouth

  • Bamboo toothbrushes – a great alternative to plastic toothbrushes because they have wooden, home compostable handles (though bristles are still plastic and need to be removed from the handle and put in a rubbish bin). You can find bamboo toothbrushes at Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale; Bin Inn Hamilton East, 1B/20 Clyde Street, Hamilton East; Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton; Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton; Naturally Healthy, 106 London Street, Hamilton; Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood; WOK (Whāingaroa Organic Kai), 3-5 Wainui Road, Raglan; and The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan.
  • Floss – Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale stocks Do Gooder silk floss with refills. You can get Eco floss dispensers (though with PLA floss), and Do Gooder refills (beware the bamboo ones that have plastic in them and get the silk ones instead) at Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood.

Unpackaged Bars of Soap

It’s easy to get soap without packaging in Hamilton. The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:

  • 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
  • Needle in the Hay, 300a Racquet Lane (off Barton Street), Hamilton Central – locally made, unpackaged soap made using local roaster Rocket Coffee‘s grinds.
  • Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton
  • Hearth Grocer, Lovegrove Lane, 1b/394 Grey Street, Hamilton East
  • The Country Providore (next to Punnet Cafe), 337 Newell Road, Hamilton
  • Hamilton Gardens Shop, Hungerford Crescent, SH1 (off Cobham Drive), Hamilton
  • Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood
  • WOK (Whāingaroa Organic Kai), 3-5 Wainui Road, Raglan
  • The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan

Bars for Shampoo/Shaving/Deodorant/Moisturiser

We’d encourage you to get your everyday toiletries – from shampoo through to shaving soap – in bar form, which means you totally avoid the plastic/aluminium bottles that liquid products usually come in!

  • The popular Ethique range which includes shampoo bars, conditioner bars, shaving bars, deodorant bars, moisturiser bars, etc. (all of Ethique‘s bars come in home compostable packaging) is stocked at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton
  • Bars of soap by Wouldn’t Know ‘Em from a Bar of Soap Co., which include shaving and shampoo bars, are available at The Country Providore (next to Punnet Cafe), 337 Newell Road, Hamilton; and Hamilton Gardens Shop, Hungerford Crescent, SH1 (off Cobham Drive), Hamilton.
  • Other locally made shampoo bar is sold at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton.
  • You can get Fair + Square face and shampoo bars at Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood
  • You can get sunscreen in home compostable cardboard tubes at The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan.

Reusable Menstrual Products

There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads. You can get both menstrual cups and reusable washable pads at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton, or just cups at Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood

Liquid toiletries on tap for refills

The following stores stock liquid toiletries in bulk dispensers (BYO bottles!)

  • Bin Inn Dinsdale – refills of Eco Store shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
  • Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton – refills of Eco Store hand & body wash (BYO bottle).

Ingredients for DIY cosmetics/toiletries

  • Baking Soda is an essential ingredient in lots of homemade toiletries such as toothpaste and deodorant. You can get it unpackaged in bulk bins from Bin Inn St Andrews, 21 Braid Road, St Andrews; Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale; and Bin Inn Hamilton East, 1B/20 Clyde Street, Hamilton East .

Other

  • Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton; Bin Inn Dinsdale, Shop 34, 47 Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale; Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton; Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood; The Herbal Dispensary, 6 Wallis Street, Raglan; and WOK (Whāingaroa Organic Kai), 3-5 Wainui Road, Raglan.
  • Toilet Paper – we would recommend Greencane and Smartass toilet paper as both are wrapped in home compostable packaging. You can get Greencane at Go Eco (formerly the Waikato Environment Centre), 188-200 Commerce Street, Frankton and Village Organics, 245 Commerce Street, Frankton; just Smartass at Whole Heart, 6 Queenwood Avenue, Queenwood; and both Greencane and Smartass at Hearth Grocer, Lovegrove Lane, 1b/394 Grey Street, Hamilton East.


Reuse & Recycle

  • 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!!)
  • 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).

Zero Waste Advocates and Support 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.
  • 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 🙂
  • 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 😉
  • Zero Below – Hamilton local, Katie, has been living zero waste for several years and shares info about how she does this on her blog. She also runs zero waste workshops around the region, for businesses, councils, organisations and community groups. Get in touch if you reckon your community or workplace would be keen!

Share and Exchange

  • Toy Libraries – reduce the wasteful over-consumption of toys and save money by joining a toy library! Check out this guide to find the nearest Toy Library to you.
  • 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.
  • Raglan Tool Library – no need for every person and his or her dog to own a set of tools when we can all share them and reduce the over-duplication of resources. There’s a tool library in Raglan – well worth checking out!

Skills and Resourcefulness in Communities

  • Menzshed – Menzsheds provide a great opportunity for men of all ages to share tools and a workspace (reducing the wasteful overduplication of these resources) and to pass on skills of woodworking and other trades. Menzsheds frequently offer communities the service of repairing broken items like furniture (at a small cost), and also creating bespoke items for community and charitable purposes. Check out this list to find the nearest Menzshed to you.
  • 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 🙂
  • 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.



2 thoughts on “Zero Waste in Hamilton City and the Waikato District (including 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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