Council seeks reduction in green waste during lockdown


Timaru District Council is asking people to reduce the amount of garden and renovation waste in their bins to help protect staff while the nation is on lockdown.

With the restrictions in place due to Covid-19, all waste from the three bins is now being sent to landfill to be disposed of safely. However, green waste causes significant long-term problems in the landfill as it decomposes creating potent greenhouse gasses.

Waste minimisation manager Ruth Clarke said the council needed the help of Timaru District residents to reduce or, even better, stop their green bin usage during the lockdown period.

“We’ve had clear guidance from government to reduce non-essential services as way of helping stop the spread of Covid-19. Garden and renovation waste is one area where people can do their bit to help by keeping it on their property until after the lockdown period,” Ms Clarke said.

Reducing the amount of green bins would cut down the length of time bin contractors are out on runs and the contact they are having with other people’s bins, she said.

Red bins should be used for essential household waste including tissues, hand towels, wet wipes, and any food waste.

“Garden waste such as lawn clippings can easily be mulched back into your lawn and leaves can be also be used as mulch in garden bed. You can even compost at home or store your garden waste until things get back to normal.”

The bins will be collected as normal, but people should avoid using their green bins.

Otherwise, green bin collection maybe suspended altogether, she said.

  •  Food waste, paper hand towels and used tissues should now go in the red bin.
  •  Clean recyclables can continue to go in the yellow bin although the contents will be going to landfill. This ensures that the red bin doesn’t fill up too quickly and also your bin isn’t contaminated when the service goes back to normal.
  •  Green bin use should be minimised where possible.
  •  For any bin, if you don’t need to put it out, please don’t.  Wait till the bin is full before placing at kerbside.

For more information about Timaru District Service during the lockdown period, visit

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