Annual Budget Focus: A waste service that works for everyone

Last Updated : 01 Mar 2022
three bins at the kerb

Auckland Council’s Annual Budget 2022/23 is open for consultation from 28 February until 28 March. Visit akhaveyoursay to share your feedback.

The waste proposal is for a regionwide rates-funded rubbish collection service by June 2025 with a choice of three rubbish bin sizes (80-litre, 120-litre, 240-litre) with different prices for each to accommodate different household needs and choices. This service would expand to the Rodney region, which does not currently have an Auckland Council rubbish collection.

Waste recommendations and decisions are guided by the ultimate goal of zero waste. We want to do what is best for the environment while keeping costs for households as low as possible. Auckland Council continues to support community education and resources to reduce waste to landfill.

Expanding the food scraps service in 2023 will be a big step in the right direction, as up to half the weight of a rubbish bin is food scraps. Better recycling habits could also reduce the amount of waste headed to the rubbish bin.

Waste minimisation lowers rates

Households with minimal waste will benefit from the introduction of an 80-litre rubbish bin. The estimated cost in 2025 of $124 ($2.38 per week) per year for the smallest bin is cheaper than the current costs of bin tags today or the current rate of $150 for a 120-litre bin in Manukau and Auckland Central.

Under this proposal, everyone has access to the same fair and affordable service.

Currently, a household that puts their bin out each week in Auckland Central or Manukau pays $71 less per year in their rates than someone on the North Shore or West Auckland using the same exact bin with a tag every week.

Moving to a rates-funded model may also help renters as landlords are more likely to pay the rates charge than to provide bin tags for the rubbish collection.

The best ability to influence waste minimisation will be achieved by having everyone on the same collection services.

With everyone on the same service, the general operating costs per household for all kerbside services are lower. These cost savings are passed on to the customer under this proposal.

Based on 52 collections per year

Current rates charge

Current annual cost for PAYT


Estimated regionwide rates charge in 2025

Estimated regionwide PAYT charge in 2025

80L bin (small)

Service not available now




120/140L bin (medium)





240L bin (large)






Rates are set based on the cost of providing the service, which includes collection and disposal. Rates are projected to go up each year with inflation and the increased costs of disposal through the waste levy.

The proposal balances out the cost of service to geographically remote areas such as rural properties and the Hauraki Gulf Islands. A rates-funded supply of bags will still be available in rural areas where bins can be impractical.

Pay as you throw (PAYT)

Auckland Council had originally planned to move the region to a pay as you throw service, but the regionwide PAYT system was found to be the more expensive to operate and overall did not reduce waste volumes.

Our research found that in areas of Auckland with a “user pays” system, bin tags did not uniquely influence waste minimisation. There are households in the both the rates-funded and bin tag areas that rarely fill their rubbish bin. The benefits of reducing your waste extend far beyond disposal costs, and people maintain good waste minimisation habits regardless of which neighbourhood they live in.

While customers in PAYT areas do think about their waste volumes, the cost of tags is not high enough to significantly change consumption habits to reduce waste.

As a public service, Auckland Council’s waste collections need to be affordable and accessible to all households at a standard price. The price would need to be much higher to change how households consider the amount of waste they are generating, and that price could be undercut by an alternative collection provider.

Analysis of rates

Maintaining the two different systems or switching everyone to pay as you throw was more expensive than a rates-funded service regionwide. Exact figures for the different models and more details can be found in the annual budget consultation documents.

The whole region pays $142.70 now for recycling and other waste minimisation services. The food scraps rate is currently $69.88. The food scraps kerbside collection service is being extended across urban Auckland in 2023, as approved by Auckland Council in a prior waste plan after consultation with Aucklanders.

In FY 24/25, a household with an 80-litre bin is estimated to pay $312 for all three kerbside services (rubbish, recycling, and food scraps) which is only $20 more than the current cost of two services - rubbish and recycling - in rates funded areas now.

Households that compost still benefit from the food scraps service for things that aren’t suitable for home compost. Auckland Council continues to support community education and resources to reduce waste to landfill, including community compost initiatives.

How can I have my say?

Feedback on the Annual Plan can be given online at, by emailing or at one of the many events being run across the region. 

Details of all events can be found at or you can call us on 09 301 0101.

Feedback forms and supporting information will also be available at local board offices and service centres or can be requested by emailing

Following consultation, all feedback will be considered and Annual Budget 2022/23 will be adopted in June 2022. Decisions will be widely communicated, and a summary report will be available online.

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