Zero Waste on the North Shore

Zero Waste on the North Shore

This guide covers the North Shore only. For other areas of Auckland, please refer to the Zero Waste in the Auckland 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!

  • GoodFor, 360 Lake Road, Takapuna – New Zealand’s FIRST packaging-free store. It’s pretty amazing to see and the range of items available is impressive. James, the founder and owner, is also putting a great deal of thought into how to reduce the store’s own waste footprint. You can get all the staples here – grains, flours, nuts, seeds, legumes, dried fruit, spices. As well as liquid foods, including oils, syrups and vinegars. You can also get harder to find things like Fairtrade cocoa, vege stock, pasta and cocoa butter (to name a few). If you need baking soda and vinegar, yep, you can get it here! Not only that, but GoodFor is also teaming up with local producers to bring packaging-free supplies of locally-made products, like those by Little Bird.
  • The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford – a packaging-free store that has just about every whole food you could desire (flours, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, spices) as well as a few snacks and treats in bulk (like chocolate and potato chips). There are also a wide range of cereals and granolas, nut butter extruders, and even pasta and gluten-free pasta! A great range of liquid foods in bulk too, from oils and vinegars to syrups. Some more unusual finds include balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, coconut nectar, tahini and macadamia oil.
  • Barakah Foods, 171B Archers Road, Hillcrest – has a range of bulk bins stocking flours, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dried fruit (including a range of different kinds of dates), spices, and herbs. Also stocks harder to find dried goods, like baking soda and baking powder.
  • Top in Town Spice City, 175 Archers Road, Hillcrest – has a wide range of bulk bins stocking flours, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and spices, as well as baking soda and baking powder.
  • Patel Brothers Indian Supermarket, 92 Sunnybrae Road, Hillcrest – has a wide range of bulk bins stocking flours, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and spices.
  • Bin Inn Glenfield, Shop 209, Level 2, Glenfield Mall, Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield; Bin Inn Browns Bay, 12 Inverness Road, Browns Bay – 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 machine. All Bin Inn stores around New Zealand are currently offering 5% discount when you bring your own containers!
  • Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay – stocks a substantial range of dried goods (grains, flours, rice, legumes, dried fruit, nuts, seeds etc.), as well as liquid food refills (such as vinegar, oil and tamari) in bulk dispensers. 
  • Produce Planet Supermarket, 170D Wairau Road, Wairau Valley – stocks beans, peanuts, semolina, corn flour and millet in bulk bins.
  • Saffron Foods, 16i Link Drive, Wairau Valley – stocks a wide range of bulk dried foods, including grains, flours, legumes, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, spices and also baking soda and baking powder.
  • Da Hua Supermarket, Don Mckinnon Drive, Albany – right by the counter at the front of the store there are a handful of bulk bins stocking some grains, beans and peanuts.
  • Supermarkets – most supermarkets have 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 much pricier than the bulk bins at the stores listed above (even organic stores’ bulk bins!). But look out for when things in the bulk bin aisle in supermarkets are on special because sometimes you can get a good deal!


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 TO UPDATE THIS SECTION** <– get in touch if your fave spot isn’t on here!

  • The Highbury Butcher, 11 Mokoia Road, Birkenhead 
  • Torbay Village Butchery, 1036 Beach Road, Torbay
  • The Cheese Room, 146 Kitchener Road, Milford – stocks large rounds of cheese – get cuts of cheese straight off the round into your BYO container.
  • Barakah Foods, 171B Archers Road, Hillcrest – sells many types of olives at the deli (BYO container).
  • Farro Fresh North Shore, corner Constellation Drive and Parkway Drive, Mairangi Bay – all Farro Fresh stores across Auckland happily accept clean BYO containers at their delis that feature all kinds of unpackaged food, from cheese to meats, salads and more!
  • Unpackaged live mussels – most supermarkets 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. 
  • 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 TO UPDATE THIS SECTION** <– get in touch if your fave spot isn’t on here!

  • Bakers Delight, 2/50 Greville Rd, Pinehill, Auckland.
  • Cheltenham Milk Bar, 64 Vauxhall Road, Devonport.
  • Wild Wheat Bakery, 1/67 Lake Road, Belmont.
  • 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. At markets 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. So check out some of the markets on the North Shore and get amongst it!
  • Trade Aid – Trade Aid’s 1.5kg sugar bags are great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home compostable when they do fall apart. 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 Takapuna, 55 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna. Or else you can get the sugar at I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna; or the coconut oil at Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay.
  • Unpackaged chocolate/sweets/snacks – a few shops have sweet treats unpackaged that you can have put into your own containers:
    • GoodFor, 360 Lake Road, Takapuna – chocolate, and other sweets & snacks, unpackaged
    • The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford – stocks a wide range of unpackaged sweets and snacks in bulk.
    • The Old Lolly Shop, Parkway Arcade, 56-60 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna – loose candy/lollies sold from glass jars
    • Crazy Pixie, 5/145 Kitchener Road, Milford – a huge range of jars of unpackaged sweets.


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:


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 Natural Health Company, 81 Victoria Road, Devonport
  • The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford.


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 bottlesBakewell Creamery home deliver their raw milk (minimum order of 4L). So, you can have the milk delivered to your door in reusable glass bottles (just like the old days!) – leave your empty bottles out on the next delivery day so they can be returned to Bakewell Creamery for sterilisation and refill. YAY! See delivery details and routes here.
  • Return & Refill glass bottle scheme – Bella Vacca Jerseys sells milk in reusable glass bottles and you can get your hands on this at various outlets around the North Shore, including Cheltenham Milk Bar, 64 Vauxhall Road, Devonport; Simply Fresh, 23 Ocean View Road, Northcote; Farro Fresh North Shore, corner Constellation Drive and Parkway Drive, Mairangi Bay. 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 Bella Vacca Jerseys 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:

  • Liquid Experience, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna
  • Liquorland Forrest Hill, 252 Forrest Hill Road, Forrest Hill
  • Liquordland Northcross (Browns Bay), corner Carlisle and East Coast Road, Northcross.

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).


  • Kombucha – while kombucha is great to make at home, packaging-free, you can also get it on tap (BYO bottles!) at GoodFor, 360 Lake Road, Takapuna; and The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford.


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 Natural Health Company, 81 Victoria Road, Devonport; I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna; GoodFor, 360 Lake Road, Takapuna; Shut the Front Door, 464 Lake Road, Takapuna; The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford; Stevens, Shop 357, Glenfield Mall, Cnr Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield; Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay.

There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups on the North Shore:

  • Find the Keep Cup brand at Stevens, Shop 357, Glenfield Mall, Cnr Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield; and Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay.
  • The NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay; Wild Wheat Bakery, 1/67 Lake Road, Belmont; Duck Limited, 42 Anzac Street, Takapuna;
  • Shut the Front Door, 464 Lake Road, Takapuna – stocks various reusable takeaway coffee cups (including ceramic varieties, Joco Cups, and Frank Green)
  • Get Ideal Cups (made in Hutt Valley, Wellington) at Naturally Organic, Shop 23, 100 Don Mckinnon Drive, Northridge Plaza, Albany.
  • Zuperzozial coffee cups are sold at I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna.
  • The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford stocks its own branded, stainless steel, reusable takeaway coffee cups.

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 Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay; I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna. You can get The Source Bulk Foods branded stainless steel lunchboxes at their store at 129 Kitchener Road, Milford.

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, bulk bin and/or string shopping bags at The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford; Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay; and Naturally Organic, Shop 23, 100 Don Mckinnon Drive, Northridge Plaza, Albany.

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 I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna; Shut the Front Door, 464 Lake Road, Takapuna; The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford; Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay; Naturally Organic, Shop 23, 100 Don Mckinnon Drive, Northridge Plaza, Albany; The Natural Health Company, 81 Victoria Road, Devonport.

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

  • Beeswax wrap – available at S’Pacific, Shop 3, Old Post Office Building, 10 Victoria Road, Devonport; Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay; I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna; Shut the Front Door, 464 Lake Road, Takapuna; and Naturally Organic, Shop 23, 100 Don Mckinnon Drive, Northridge Plaza, Albany.
  • Reusable sandwich bags – you can get Munch sandwich pouches, and Zuperzozial reusable sandwich bags, at I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna. You can get other reusable sandwich pouches from Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay.


Refills of cleaning products

The following stores stock a range of both liquid and powdered cleaning products in bulk dispensers, just BYO bottles and containers:

  • Bin Inn Glenfield, Shop 209, Level 2, Glenfield Mall, Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield; 
  • Bin Inn Browns Bay, 12 Inverness Road, Browns Bay
  • GoodFor, 360 Lake Road, Takapuna
  • The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford
  • Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay

Low-waste dishwashing

You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay; I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna; Naturally Organic, Shop 23, 100 Don Mckinnon Drive, Northridge Plaza, Albany; and Stevens, Shop 357, Glenfield Mall, Cnr Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield.

Laundry

  • Soapnuts NZ soapnuts come in a cardboard box with no plastic lining. You can get them at I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna
  • The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford – stocks bulk laundry powder.
  • Get Go Bamboo clothes pegs at Bin Inn Glenfield, Shop 209, Level 2, Glenfield Mall, Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield; and Bin Inn Browns Bay, 12 Inverness Road, Browns Bay.

Ingredients for DIY cleaning products

  • Baking soda – available unpackaged in bulk bins at GoodFor, 360 Lake Road, Takapuna; Barakah Foods, 171B Archers Road, Hillcrest; Top in Town Spice City, 175 Archers Road, Hillcrest; Bin Inn Glenfield, Shop 209, Level 2, Glenfield Mall, Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield; The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford; Bin Inn Browns Bay, 12 Inverness Road, Browns Bay; Saffron Foods, 16i Link Drive, Wairau Valley.
  • White vinegar – available on tap (BYO bottles) at GoodFor, 360 Lake Road, Takapuna; The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford; Bin Inn Browns Bay, 12 Inverness Road, Browns Bay; and Bin Inn Glenfield, Shop 209, Level 2, Glenfield Mall, Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield.
  • Bars of castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) – get US made Dr Bronner’s castile bars at The Natural Health Company, 81 Victoria Road, Devonport; I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna; Naturally Organic, Shop 23, 100 Don Mckinnon Drive, Northridge Plaza, Albany; Bin Inn Glenfield, Shop 209, Level 2, Glenfield Mall, Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield; Bin Inn Browns Bay, 12 Inverness Road, Browns Bay; and Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay.


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 Natural Health Company, 81 Victoria Road, Devonport; Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay; The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford; I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna; Naturally Organic, Shop 23, 100 Don Mckinnon Drive, Northridge Plaza, Albany; and Bin Inn Glenfield, Shop 209, Level 2, Glenfield Mall, Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield.

Unpackaged Bars of Soap

The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:

  • The Natural Health Company, 81 Victoria Road, Devonport
  • S’Pacific, Shop 3, Old Post Office Building, 10 Victoria Road, Devonport – unpackaged soap and offcuts of soap from a local soap factory.
  • Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay
  • The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford
  • Naturally Organic, Shop 23, 100 Don Mckinnon Drive, Northridge Plaza, Albany
  • Bin Inn Glenfield, Shop 209, Level 2, Glenfield Mall, Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield

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 Shut the Front Door, 464 Lake Road, Takapuna; GoodFor, 360 Lake Road, Takapuna; and Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay.

Reusable Menstrual Products

There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads. You can get menstrual cups at The Natural Health Company, 81 Victoria Road, Devonport; Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay; I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna; and Naturally Organic, Shop 23, 100 Don Mckinnon Drive, Northridge Plaza, Albany.

Ingredients for DIY cosmetics/toiletries

  • Baking Soda is an essential ingredient in lots of homemade toiletries such as toothpaste and deodorant, as well as a great general cleaner when teamed up with vinegar. You can get it unpackaged in bulk bins from available unpackaged in bulk bins at GoodFor, 360 Lake Road, Takapuna; Barakah Foods, 171B Archers Road, Hillcrest; Top in Town Spice City, 175 Archers Road, Hillcrest; Bin Inn Glenfield, Shop 209, Level 2, Glenfield Mall, Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield; Bin Inn Browns Bay, 12 Inverness Road, Browns Bay; The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford; Saffron Foods, 16i Link Drive, Wairau Valley.
  • The Source Bulk Foods, 129 Kitchener Road, Milford stocks epsom salts, bentonite clay and jars of activated charcoal.

Other

  • Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Bin Inn Glenfield, Shop 209, Level 2, Glenfield Mall, Glenfield Road and Downing Street, Glenfield; and Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay.
  • Toilet Paper – Greencane and Smartass toilet paper are both wrapped in home compostable packaging.
    • Get Greencane toilet paper at I E Produce, 1 Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna; Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay and Naturally Organic, Shop 23, 100 Don Mckinnon Drive, Northridge Plaza, Albany.
    • Get Smartass toilet paper from Huckleberry Browns Bay, 14 Clyde Road, Browns Bay.


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! Here are some alternatives:
    • Home composting/worm farms/bokashi – 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 Auckland City Council offers FREE composting workshops through their programme, the Compost Collective? Worth checking out! Tamaki WRAP also runs composting workshops.
    • Food scrap collections – We Compost also runs a food scrap collection service for both households AND businesses, and takes it to be composted – yay! 
    • Edible food waste – food that is still edible that goes to waste is a crying shame. Check out the Community Fridge (an initiative of Amanda Chapman, with a rescued fridge provided by Resource Rescue), located in Griffiths Gardens (corner of Wellesley street and Mayoral Drive). The fridge is open 24 hours a day. The idea is that individuals and businesses can leave any excess food they may have (which might otherwise go to waste) in the fridge. Anyone who wishes is free to take food from the fridge. In addition to the Community Fridge there are also two food rescue organisations in Auckland – Fair Food and Kiwi Harvest – who take food that would otherwise go to waste from businesses and redistribute it to organisations with a social justice function.
  • 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). Check out Repair Cafe Auckland to see where the next repair cafe is happening near you! 
    • Recycle: If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to be recycled responsibly. In Auckland there are a range of places you can take your e-waste to be recycled or disposed of more safely. These include community recycling centres (see below), Resource RescueAbilitiesEcomatters, and E-Cycle
  • Community Recycling Centres are popping up all over Auckland now that the council has the aim of having at least 12 in the city in order to reach its goal of becoming a zero waste city by 2040. Community recycling centres are community-run and very effective at diverting waste from landfill, whether by arranging recycling, or repurposing or reselling of items back to the community at low cost. They are often drop-off points for all manner of recyclables, from plastics, paper/cardboard, glass and metals, through to hard to recycle items like e-waste, building and construction materials and other bits and bobs. Check out this list of Auckland community recycling centres to find your local. The range of things the community can drop-off also makes community recycling centres a GREAT place to get your magpie on and scavenge some real treasures at the re-use shops – a perfect place to find secondhand items rather than buying them new. If you’re wanting a new appliance or gadget, new toys or bikes, or if you’re undertaking a craft, building or home maker project and need some wood off-cuts, scrap metal, bolts, nuts or other building equipment, go to your local community recycling centre before you go anywhere else – you’ll be amazed at what you can find, at super low prices.
  • EcoMatters’ Adopt a Resource – one person’s waste is another person’s treasure. Daily industry throws out tonnes of ‘waste’ that might actually be useful to other people. EcoMatters, an amazing Environment Centre in New Lynn, is taking ‘waste’ off the Rosebank Business Community and rehoming it to whoever might want it! Check out their website – you never know what kind of goodies you might be able to get, while saving it from a sad fate in landfill :-O

Zero Waste Information and Support Networks

  • Waste-free advocates – Auckland is full of groups and individuals who provide support and inspiration for people to reduce their waste, both online and offline. You may have heard of Amanda Chapman from Amanda in Waste-free Land, Kristy Lorson from EarthSavvy (who is also the creator of the incredibly useful Zero Waste in NZ! Facebook page), the Weir-Barwells of Waste-Less Living, the trail-blazing Matthew Luxon and Waveney Warth from Rubbishfree.co.nz, and the Archer family of 6 who are documenting their year without a bin this year (2018). Have a look at their websites – they are all excellent resources for waste-free living in Auckland, and NZ generally. If you’re lucky, you might be able to twist one of their arms to do a public talk/workshop as well… 😀
  • Environmental hubs – environment centres and hubs are a great place to look out for if you would like help reducing waste (in the context of sustainable living generally). An excellent example is Ecomatters, 1 Olympic Place, New Lynn. Among their many programmes, they are advancing zero waste in Western Auckland. They offer solutions for a range of hard to recycle items, like polystyrene, batteries, toothpaste tubes, curtains and light bulbs. Their frequent workshops often cover topics that assist with low-waste living. They also provide cool things for the community that diverts waste from landfill, like firewood which has been diverted from landfill, low-priced bikes rescued from landfill and done up, used coffee grinds for your garden, upcycled jewellery and crafts, and their Love Zero Waste Trailer, available for hire. 
  • Tamaki WRAP is simply incredible – they’re dedicated to supporting the waste reduction in the community and they offer great workshops and waste minimisation education spanning a variety of different areas. They also run the United Sustainable Sisters programme, and they’ve set up hubZERO a new location in Panmure dedicated to all things zero waste: waste-based social enterprises, full on local upcycling, and a space for workshops. Woohoo!
  • Running a Zero Waste Event – Are you running an event – big or small – and keen to keep it low-waste?Well, EcoMatters has developed an AMAZING website on Zero Waste Events in collaboration with Auckland Council to encourage event organisers and stallholders to design an event that generates less waste, and/or the right kind of waste for reuse. There’s so much useful information on this website, so definitely check it out – proper impressive!

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.
  • Auckland Library of Tools – need tools? Guess what, you can now rent them out (rather than buying new) from the wonderful Auckland Library of Tools! We don’t all need a garage full of tools, so save your money and reduce waste by joining ALOT. You can also donate tools to ALOT if you have a garage full and reckon they could go for an outing 😉
  • 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!
  • Community gardens and urban growing – if you are wanting to try your hand at gardening and have access to some unpackaged, locally grown veges, look up your local community garden. We’ve seen some great ones, including Kelmarna Gardens in Ponsonby, but there are many more! Check out a full list (plus map) here. And DEFINITELY check out the truly amazing For the Love of Bees – an artistic project that has morphed into a next level community-mobilising force for making Auckland a city that is good for bees (and thus, for us), incredible stuff!
  • Sharing Sheds/Community Fruit and Veg Stands – these are stands/shelves in the community where anyone can drop off excess fruit and veg from their garden, and anyone is free to take what’s there, free of charge. The wonderful art of sharing means that excess produce doesn’t go to waste. Furthermore, items can be shared without excessive amounts of packaging. These are popping up around the country and there are heaps in Auckland – find your nearest through the new website Free Food.
  • Crop Swap – Another fantastic thing going is Crop Swaps – at a crop swap, individuals who have veges they’ve grown, or preserves or baking they’ve made (or similar), 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. There are crop swaps dotted around Auckland, check out this website for a location near you (note the website is still being developed and currently missing many locations – you may need to ask around).



7 thoughts on “Zero Waste on the North Shore”

  • Love this so much! Have been curious to find zero-waste products specifically up north, but didn’t really know where to start, turns out there are way more places than I expected! Thanks for your help!

  • Torbay fruit and vege shop and Torbay butcher y both encourage you to bring your own bags and containers.

  • Bakers Delight on Greville road in Pinehill (between Brown’s Bay and Albany) has everything baked from fresh. You can ask for a paper bag instead of plastic bags. I have never brought my own bag but I am sure they wouldn’t mind if you would give them your own bag. Next door is Fruit world and on the other side the butcher and seafood (not sure if these last 2 accept bring your own containers, as I never tried).

    • Thank you! We’ll give the butchers and seafood store a call and see what they say re BYO containers 🙂

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