Zero Waste in Waipa and Matamata-Piako

Zero Waste in Waipa and Matamata-Piako

This guide covers Waipa and Matamata-Piako districts only. 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!

  • The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu – Waikato’s first bulk store dedicated to waste reduction. They are stocked with a wide range of bulk dry food (grains, seeds, legumes, flour, dried fruit, salt, sugar, spices, condiments and more) and refills of liquids like oils, vinegars, syrups and honey. They also have a peanut butter machine – BYO jar!
  • Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, legumes, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, sugars and pasta), a range of spices, liquid foods (including oils, syrups and a wide array of vinegars), 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! All Bin Inn stores around New Zealand are currently offering 5% discount when you bring your own containers! The Bin Inn in Te Awamutu is also phasing out the plastic bags most Bin Inns offer for people to put their bulk product into and instead will be offering paper bags – yay!
  • Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge – this store has stepped up to meet the demand in Cambridge for unpackaged bulk food. Stocks a range of dried food in bulk bins (grains, seeds, nuts, dried fruit and more) and apple cider vinegar on tap – BYO bags/bottles/containers!
  • RedBerry Supermarket, 130 Broadway, Matamata – stocks a range of dried legumes, and also semolina and rice flakes in bulk bins.
  • Healthy Refill, 66a Arawa Street, Matamata – a small bulk/wholefoods store that looks a lot like a Bin Inn, except… there are no bulk bins!! Unfortunately, they prepackage everything here into plastic bags. Only product you can get without packaging is peanut butter from their extruder, just BYO jar.
  • Joe’s Health Foods, 225 Thames Street, Morrinsville – this store stocks an impressive range of dried food in bulk bins, including grains, flours, legumes, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. However, the owner didn’t seem too keen on the idea of people bringing BYO bags to fill up, so it might be worth more locals broaching the issue!
  • Villa Nine – Organic Health Shop, 9 Lawrence Avenue, Te Aroha – stocks a range of bulk dried foods, from legumes, nuts, seeds and dried fruit, through to grains and flours. In the shop front all these items are already repackaged, but the storekeepers are happy to fill BYO bags and containers out back if you ask (try and do this outside of lunchtime hours as the store is also a thriving cafe!).
  • Supermarkets – most major supermarkets have well stocked bulk bin/pick and mix sections with wholefoods (BYO bags for these). However they’re pretty expensive, often more so than equivalent ingredients in packets (bah!), and more so than the bulk bins at places like 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!

  • Wholly Cow Butchery, 47 Victoria Street, Cambridge – happy to put unpackaged cuts of meat from the deli straight into BYO bags/containers.
  • Dante’s Fine Foods, 61 Duke St, Cambridge – you can get cuts of cheese off the round here, put into BYO bags/containers.
  • Over the Moon, 70 Victoria Street, Cambridge – a few deli foods like olives and sundried tomatoes unpackaged.
  • Matamata Butchery, 151 Firth Street, Matamata
  • Unpackaged live mussels – there are a number of stores that stock unpackaged live mussels at self-serve counters. We put them straight into upcycled ice cream containers/BYO containers rather than the plastic bags the stores usually provide. You can find unpackaged live mussels at New World Cambridge, 14 Anzac Street, Cambridge; and New World Matamata, 45 Waharoa Road East, Matamata.
  • Fermented FoodsGood Bugs Sauerkraut, Kimchi and more are sold in returnable glass jars at the Cambridge Farmers Market, Victoria Square, Cambridge (every Saturday from 8am-noon) – return the jars and they will be sterilised and reused!
  • 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).

  • The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu – sourdough in brown paper bags (see if you can ask them to be delivered with no packaging and BYO bread bags)
  • Panache French Bakery, 60 Victoria Street, Cambridge
  • Volare in two locations: 299 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; 27 Empire Street, Cambridge
  • Cambridge Bakery, 35 Duke Street, Cambridge
  • Bakehouse Cafe, 53 Broadway, Matamata
  • Quality Inn Bakery, 38 Arawa Street, Matamata
  • Caffeine, 49 Lorne Street, Morrinsville – Volare bread, may be in a brown paper bag 


  • 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 Cambridge Farmers’ Market, Victoria Square, Cambridge, every Saturday from 8am-noon.
  • 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 Te Awamutu, 41 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu.
  • Unpackaged chocolate/truffles/fudge/sweets – a few shops have sweet treats unpackaged that you can have put into your own containers:
    • Victoria Station, 55 Victoria Street, Cambridge – sweets & fudge
    • Dante’s Fine Foods, 61 Duke St, Cambridge – sweets and chocolate truffles unpackaged.
    • Forget me not Florist, 50 Arawa Street, Matamata – locally-made 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:

  • The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu – Essenza beans (no grinder) to order
  • Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu
  • Dante’s Fine Foods, 61 Duke St, Cambridge
  • Essenza coffee in your own jar (or in a resuable/refillable coffee tin) at Rouge Cafe, 11 Empire Street, Cambridge


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 StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu
  • Bell‘s loose leaf tea is packaged only in 100% paper and cardboard and is readily available in 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 on tap or from a vending machine – milk is available on tap from a vending machine at TWO locations: HumpBridge Milk, 161 Pokuru Road, just south of Te Awamutu; and Alexander Organics, 133 Flume Road, Cambridge. Simply BYO bottle to fill up, or purchase a reusable glass bottle there that you can then refill on future occasions. You can also get Jersey Girl Organics milk on tap into BYO bottles at the Cambridge Farmers Market, Victoria Square, Cambridge – every Saturday from 8am-noon.
  • Milk delivery in reusable glass bottles – Dreamview Creamery home delivers their milk in reusable glass bottles (just like the old days!), on Tuesdays in Te Awamutu, and Tamahere and Cambridge on Thursdays. 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 scheme – Dreamview Creamery sells milk in reusable glass bottles – you can get your hands on them at Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu. 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!
  • Non-dairy milk – Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge operates a glass bottle return system for their mylks, so that the bottles can be sterilised and reused in store. Each time you bring a bottle back you get a stamp, and with 10 stamps you get a free mylk.


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:

  • Good Union, 98 Victoria Street, Cambridge (you might have to use one of their bottles/flagons to reuse as the Good George beer they sell comes in particular sizes).

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 – get drinking chocolate and cocoa powder in bulk at Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu.
  • Juice – Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge operates a glass bottle return system for their juices, so that the bottles can be sterilised and reused in store. Each time you bring a bottle back you get a stamp, and with 10 stamps you get a free juice.


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 The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu (metal and ceramic); Ash Store/The Colab Store, 45 Alexandra St, Te Awamutu; Red Kitchen, 51 Mahoe Street, Te Awamutu; Leven, 33 Empire Street, Cambridge (metal); Fox & Co., 9 Albert Street, Cambridge; Simply Divine Kitchen, 5 Empire Street, Cambridge; Rumour, corner of Duke and Victoria Streets, Cambridge; Kodak & Black, 58 Arawa Street, Matamata; and Gifted, 34 Arawa Street, Matamata (metal).

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

  • Find the Keep Cup brand at Crave, 24a Empire Street, Cambridge; Volare, 27 Empire Street, Cambridge; Rouge Cafe, 7 Empire Street, Cambridge; Paddock, 48 Victoria Street, Cambridge
  • The NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at Inspiredby2 Florist, 63 Victoria Street, Cambridge; The Coffee Gallery, 101 Broadway, Matamata
  • You can get glass Joco Cups at Red Kitchen, 51 Mahoe Street, Te Awamutu
  • The innovative Frank Green cups are sold at Leven, 33 Empire Street, Cambridge
  • Stainless steel cups are available at Gifted, 34 Arawa Street, Matamata; Simply Divine Kitchen, 5 Empire Street, Cambridge; The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu.
  • Ceramic takeaway cups are sold at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu
  • Various other brands are available at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; The Mirrorbox, 51 Alexandra St, Te Awamutu; and Strawbridge, 319 Alexandra St, Te Awamutu.

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 100% cotton produce bags at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Leven, 33 Empire Street, Cambridge; FreshChoice Leamington, 46 Burns Street, Cambridge; ILuv Asian Store, 87 Arawa Street, Matamata; and New World Matamata, 45 Waharoa Road East, Matamata. Also, The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Vege Fresh, 35 Victoria Street, Cambridge; and Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge both stock locally made produce bags out of second hand nets/fabric off-cuts by local groups such as Plastic Bag Free/Boomerang Bags Cambridge.

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 various stainless steel lunchboxes and food containers at The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; and Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu.

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 The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu (metal); Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu (metal and silicone); Ash Store/The Colab Store, 45 Alexandra St, Te Awamutu; Forage, 21 Empire Street, CambridgeGifted, 34 Arawa Street, Matamata.

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

  • Beeswax wrap
    • Purchase at – The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Red Kitchen, 51 Mahoe Street, Te Awamutu; Hansen Honey, 700 Franklin Street, Pirongia; Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge; Leven, 33 Empire Street, Cambridge; Dante’s Fine Foods, 61 Duke St, Cambridge; Comins Pharmacy, 67 Victoria Street, Cambridge; The Coffee Gallery, 101 Broadway, Matamata (locally made by Kauri); Wild Rose Interiors, 72 Arawa Street, Matamata (plastic wrapped); and Gifted, 34 Arawa Street, Matamata.
    • DIY – waaaaay cheaper! You just need natural fibre fabrics and unpackaged beeswax. You can get fabric offcuts and fat quarters from Patchworkweb, 83 Arawa Street, Matamata. Unpackaged beeswax is available at Hansen Honey, 700 Franklin Street, Pirongia
  • Reusable sandwich bags – Elephant Ollie, 4 Empire Street, Cambridge stocks their own brand of lunch pouches, as well as ones made by Munch; you can get Sachi lunch pockets at Gifted, 34 Arawa Street, Matamata.
  • 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 Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Simply Divine Kitchen, 5 Empire Street, Cambridge; and Gifted, 34 Arawa Street, Matamata.
  • Silicone freezer bags – reusable bags for freezing meat and other food are available at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu – they’re pricey, but will last your lifetime and can replace soft plastics for freezing.


Refills of cleaning products

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

  • The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu – Ecostore products
  • Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu (chemical options and Ecostore)
  • Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge

Low-waste dishwashing

You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu; Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge; Hus Design Store, 20 Empire Street, Cambridge; Simply Divine Kitchen, 5 Empire Street, Cambridge

You can also get handleless natural fibre veggie brushes (that can make good dish scrubbers) at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Fox & Co., 9 Albert Street, Cambridge; Hus Design Store, 20 Empire Street, Cambridge; and Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge.

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 Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Red Kitchen, 51 Mahoe Street, Te Awamutu; Fox & Co., 9 Albert Street, Cambridge; Simply Divine Kitchen, 5 Empire Street, Cambridge
  • Get hand-knitted 100% cotton dishcloths at Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge.
  • Nawrap Japanese made natural fibre blend dishcloths are sold at Fox & Co., 9 Albert Street, Cambridge
  • RedBerry Supermarket, 130 Broadway, Matamata stocks cheap 100% cotton dishcloths (they have a muslin type weave).
  • Fancy Bianca Lorenne or Wallace Cotton 100% cotton cloths are available at Simply Divine Kitchen, 5 Empire Street, Cambridge; Wallace Cotton, 16 Empire Street, Cambridge; and Wild Rose Interiors, 72 Arawa Street, Matamata.
  • Get scourers made of 100% luffa (a fibrous plant) and 100% coconut fibre at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu.

Laundry

  • Eco Planet laundry powder comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining! You can get it from New World Cambridge, 14 Anzac Street, Cambridge; New World Matamata, 45 Waharoa Road East, Matamata.
  • Soapnuts – a nut/berry that natural produces saponin so can be home composted once used up. Soapnuts NZ soapnuts come in a cardboard box with no plastic lining, which you can get at Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu. You can also get That Red House soapberries, which come in a brown paper bag inside a cotton bag, at ILuv Asian Store, 87 Arawa Street, Matamata. Forget Me Not Florist, 50 Arawa Street, Matamata stocks soapnuts in cotton bags.
  • Laundry soap bars – get Ethique and Global Soap laundry soaps, inluding stain removing bars, at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu.
  • Metal or bamboo alternatives to plastic clothes pegs – The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge; New World Matamata, 45 Waharoa Road East, Matamata.

Ingredients for DIY cleaning products

  • Baking soda, epsom salts, borax, washing soda, white vinegar – some or all of these products are available unpackaged in bulk bins at The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; and Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu.
  • Bars of castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) – get locally made unpackaged castile dish soap bars at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu (they also sell soap shakers if you can’t be bothered making liquid!). Also get the Dr Bronner’s brand (made in USA) at Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu.


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 The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu; Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge; The Little Flower Shop, 88 Duke Street, Cambridge; Health 2000, 70A Victoria Street, Cambridge (Mama Bear brand); Four Square Shakespeare Street, 173 Shakespeare Street, Cambridge; New World Matamata, 45 Waharoa Road East, Matamata (you’ll find these in the ‘organic’ section of the supermarket, not with the other toothbrushes… *sigh*); and Villa Nine – Organic Health Shop, 9 Lawrence Avenue, Te Aroha.
  • Dental Floss – Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; and all Countdown supermarkets stock Do Gooder floss, which comes in a refillable glass tube with a screw on metal lid. The WHITE floss is made of 100% silk and is home compostable (the black floss has polyester in it so is landfill only). When you run out of the floss, no need to get a new dispenser, you can get refills of the floss in a cardboard box direct from Do Gooder, or also at Narrativ.
  • Toothpaste – get toothpaste tabs by SOLID Oral Care in glass bottles at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu – see if you can return the bottles to be reused by SOLID, we know you can do this elsewhere!

Unpackaged Bars of Soap

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

  • The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu
  • Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu
  • Strawbridge, 319 Alexandra St, Te Awamutu
  • Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu
  • Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge
  • Health 2000, 70A Victoria Street, Cambridge
  • Wayne’s, 66 Victoria Street, Cambridge
  • Gifted, 34 Arawa Street, Matamata
  • Joe’s Health Foods, 225 Thames Street, Morrinsville

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 available at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Unichem Cambridge Pharmacy, 52 Victoria Street, Cambridge
  • Get a range of cardboard packaged solid shampoo and toiletries in bar or tube form from brands like Fair + Square, EverKind, Dr Bob’s, Raw Nature, Be Kind, Simple Naked Soap and more at The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; and also at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu.
  • More options – Simple Naked Soap shampoo bars are sold at Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge; Valor shaving soap (in cardboard) is sold at Hus Design Store, 20 Empire Street, Cambridge; Wayne’s, 66 Victoria Street, Cambridge also stocks Global Soap shampoo bars.

Shaving

Avoid plastic shavers that are designed to be disposable and go for 100% metal razors that will last you decades and only require the 100% metal and recyclable blades to be replaced (or sharpened with a leather strop!), and remember to use a bar of shaving soap instead of shaving foam that comes in an aerosol can (see above) – note, you’ll need a shaving brush to make this work. You can get razors, blades, shaving brushes AND Global Soap shower/shampoo/shaving bars at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; and Wayne’s, 66 Victoria Street, Cambridge. You can get just shaving brushes at Hus Design Store, 20 Empire Street, Cambridge (and shaving soap bars to go with it); Leven, 33 Empire Street, Cambridge; Life Pharmacy Matamata, 54 Arawa Street, Matamata.

Reusable Menstrual Products

  • Menstrual cups – available at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; FreshChoice Leamington, 46 Burns Street, Cambridge; Unichem Leamington Pharmacy, 129 Shakespeare Street, Cambridge
  • Reusable pads & period undies – both available at Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu.

Liquid Toiletries on Tap

The following stores sell liquid toiletries on tap for refill (BYO bottles!):

  • Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge

Other

  • Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Bin Inn Te Awamutu, 170/13 George Street, Te Awamutu; Narrativ, 65 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu; Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge; and Villa Nine – Organic Health Shop, 9 Lawrence Avenue, Te Aroha.
  • Toilet Paper – get rolls of Smartass TP, packaging in compostable tissue paper, at The StoreRoom, 54 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu.


REUSE AND RECYCLE

  • Food waste and composting – food waste in a bin gets sent to landfill where it breaks down anaerobically, producing methane (a potent greenhouse gas). No! Having a composting, worm farm or bokashi bin system at home is the best and cheapest way to deal with your food scraps. If you’d like help setting one up or working out what the best system would be for you, did you know that the Waipa District Council has info about getting composting and worm farming going on their website and they intermittently offer free workshops on composting and worm-farming too – so keep an eye out!
  • E-waste – electronic waste is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, with huge environmental implications because of the toxins that can be leached from this waste, but also the loss of incredibly precious resources embedded in these items that are not recovered when the waste is dumped in landfill.
    • Repair: Rather than throwing you broken electronics out – have you considered trying to get them repaired first? You could pay someone to do it or look out for Repair or Fix-it Cafes where experts donate their time to fix people’s broken items for free at a designated repair event (usually run by community centres, churches or councils). For example, check out The Repair Co-op Cambridge, Meraki Workspace, 32 Victoria Street, Cambridge, 2nd Sunday of the Month – on the 2nd Sunday of every month (i.e. the day of the Trash ‘n’ Treasure Market).
    • Recycle: If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to be recycled responsibly. The nearest spots to Waipa and Matamata-Piako where you can take your e-waste to be recycled or disposed of more safely are Go EcoSWAC or Xtreme Zero Waste.

ZERO WASTE INFORMATION AND SUPPORT NETWORKS

  • Mainstream Green – the brainchild of Cambridge local, Nic Turner, Mainstream Green works with individuals, businesses and councils to create behaviour change based around reduced consumption and waste reduction. Nic runs regular workshops (in Waipa and nationwide!) that you can attend for excellent tips, tricks and insights for reducing your waste at home. She also runs Zero Waste Home tours, in which she opens her home up for two hours so attendees can see zero waste in action – how awesome! Nic also has really handy resources on her site for anyone to peruse.
  • Plastic Bag Free Cambridge – a local Cambridge group striving to rid Cambridge of plastic bags. You can find permanent bag stands for their locally-sewn reusable shopping bags at Cambridge New World, Leamington Fresh Choice Supermarket, and outside Wholly Cow.) You can even find their affordable handmade fabric alternatives to plastic produce bags (made from second hand net) at Vege Fresh, 35 Victoria Street, Cambridge and Forage, 21 Empire Street, Cambridge.
  • Transition Matamata – Though not focused on zero waste, this lively branch of the Transition Town movement has run waste-related workshops and advocated for policies, such as bottle deposits, which would reduce beverage container waste. A great group to learn more,  get together with others who care about issues, including waste, and share information.

SHARE AND EXCHANGE/SKILLS AND RESILIENCE IN COMMUNITIES

  • 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.
  • Menzshed – there are Menzsheds throughout Auckland. Menzshed provides 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), work with upcycled material that might otherwise go to waste, and also create bespoke items for community and charitable purposes. Definitely look up your local!
  • The Sharing Shed, Anzac Green, Te Awamutu – a truly wonderful gem in the centre of Te Awamutu, started by Shaun and Sarah O’Dea. Standing in Anzac Green all day, everyday, the idea is that anyone can come down and drop off either produce or a book for someone else to take, for free! Likewise, anyone can take something they fancy. You don’t have to drop something off every time you pick something up – there are no formalities. The wonderful art of sharing means that excess produce doesn’t go to waste. Furthermore, items can be shared without excessive amounts of packaging. The Sharing Shed is also collaborating with local group Snip & Tuck Ltd to sew reusable alternatives to plastic shopping bags – yay! If you’d like to be involved, look out for their sewing bee ‘Share ‘n Sew’ events, which anyone is free to attend. We loved The Sharing Shed and think that every community across New Zealand should have one!
  • Community gardens and urban growing –growing your own food is an excellent way to get food without packaging. Community gardens help people to learn how to grow food, and also to compost/worm farm, and you can take home some of the goodies too! For example, check out Cambridge Community Garden, 2a Vogel Street (this garden evens distributes excess produce to those in need).
  • Crop Swaps – Crop Swaps are taking NZ by storm and there are two in Waipa District, yus! At a crop swap, individuals who have veges or seedlings they’ve grown, preserves or baking they’ve made (or similar), or even home-made knitting/crochet (etc.) crafts (anything made or grown by your hands), come together once a fortnight or once a month, to trade their offerings without any money changing hands – all free! Just bring something to share and let the swapping begin! Trading homegrown or home created goodies with friends and locals means you can avoid all that packaging that often comes with a store setting. You can also have friendly chats about how to share goods without the waste. Details are:
    • Crop Swap Te Awamutu, Downes St Community Centre Mahuika House, 114 Downes Street (3rd Saturday of each month, 2pm)
    • Crop Swap Cambridge, Senior Citizens Association Hall, Milicich Place (4th Saturday of the month, 1pm)
  • Lions Trash ‘n’ Treasure Market, Cambridge CBD, 8am-1pm, 2nd Sunday of the Month – get a wide array of pre-loved or handmade products, produce and plants at this monthly market.
  • The Repair Co-op Cambridge, Meraki Workspace, 32 Victoria Street, Cambridge, 2nd Sunday of the Month – electronics are NZ’s fastest growing waste stream – household goods can break easily and then we can be hesitant to repair them because we don’t know how or because it seems too expensive to get them fixed. Enter The Repair Co-op Cambridge, a group that is passionate about helping people to repair their valued possessions. On the 2nd Sunday of every month (i.e. the day of the Trash ‘n’ Treasure Market), find them in the Meraki Workspace, helping people fix broken electronics and machines – so if you’ve got some broken equipment, rather than biffing it out, bring it along to the workspace and you’ll receive tips and pointers for self-repair. Yay! The group is also always looking for handy people who know how to fix things to come and help out, or share tools and other equipment.



2 thoughts on “Zero Waste in Waipa and Matamata-Piako”

  • Hello! Plastic Bag Free Cambridge here. From the 10th February, there will be permanent bag stands at Cambridge New World, Leamington Fresh Choice supermarket, and outside Wholly Cow. These will be stocked with shopping bags made from second hand or off-cut fabrics. There are always produce bags available at Cambridge Vege Fresh and Forage in Cambridge, for $2 each, made from second hand nets.

    • Kia ora Sam! Thanks for letting us know. We will update the regional guide accordingly. Awesome mahi you are doing in Cambridge. So lovely to hear from you. Hope that the new stands are going well on their first day today 🙂 Great that you are doing produce bags too (they’re the next frontier after the shopping bags, we reckon). Ngā mihi, H & L

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