Solid waste

Why is this important?

Waste prevention and recycling offer significant potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the impact to the environment of storing and managing solid waste in the long term. Recycling, reuse and composting also conserves natural resources including trees, metals and water.

Key points

  • In the year to June 2017, Selwyn recycled 40% of all waste, as kerbside recycling, greenwaste and clean fill.
  • Christchurch recycled 76% of all material in 2017.
  • Over 80% of waste material has typically been recycled in Christchurch, but most of this (up to 90% of the total) has been clean fill (concrete, bricks and stones).


Note this is an interactive chart and you can click on the legend items to change what is shown on the graph.

Note: Cleanfill has been excluded from this graph as the amount for Christchurch City is so large (842,783 tonnes) that other waste types are barely visible when displayed. Selwyn recycled 1,404 tonnes of cleanfill in 2017. See the data tables for data over time.


Recycling hard materials and green waste has been possible in Greater Christchurch for over twenty years.

Christchurch City has the largest amount of waste and recycling (due to population/city size). In 2017 299, 524 tonnes of solid waste went to landfill from Christchurch, 24% of total waste produced. Selwyn sent 19,203 tonnes to landfill (60% of total waste).

Data notes

Waste to landfill is made up of kerbside waste, public bins, and commercial and public waste being dropped off at public waste depots.

Recycling material includes kerbside recycling, public bins, organic collection, commercial and public recycling and organic material (green waste) being dropped off at public waste depots and hazardous waste.

Clean hard fill is comprised of items such as concrete, bricks and stones. The “clean” in clean fill means that the waste is not contaminated by any other form of waste. 

Note: The Christchurch City data for cleanfill in 2016 and 2017 is recorded in cubic metres (then converted to tonnes) so there may be up to 10% deviation from the figure given.

Waste to the Burwood Landfill (from material disposed of as a result of the 2010-11 earthquakes) is not included in these figures.

Data information and downloads

Geographic  Area

Christchurch City Council and Selwyn District Councils

Other variables in data download

Data by waste type

Data information and downloads

Data Source

Christchurch City Council. Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils

Data Access

Tables on request

Date updated

Year to June (last updated June 2017)

Data Download

Tables here [XLS, 39 KB]

Links to other information and reports