Construction Waste

Reducing construction waste

Great steps are being taken to reduce waste on the many construction and renovation projects in our region. As well as leadership from within the building sector, client and government expectations for reducing waste are also growing. 

Despite these expectations and increased costs and shortages of many building materials, construction and demolition materials make up roughly half of New Zealand’s total landfill waste, and 80 per cent of waste going to clean fill. On average, a new home can generate four tonnes of waste. 

This is costly for construction companies and clients, as well as placing strain on the environment and resource supplies.

However with good planning, careful waste management and education, waste can be dramatically reduced from building projects. 

Why reduce construction waste?

Reducing construction waste can bring a wide range of benefits for construction companies: 


  • Save on waste disposal costs (particularly as landfill costs rise annually from July 2021). 
  • Make money from selling usable materials or fixtures, or recycling scrap metal. 
  • Reduce your costs in needing to buy less new materials for upcoming projects. 
  • Reduce costs for purchase and transport of wasted materials. 
  • Avoid possible non-compliance costs and delays. 


  • Win contracts for projects that specify waste reduction requirements, or attract clients who want to “do the right thing”. 
  • Improve client satisfaction and your company image, and encourage repeat business.
  • Help attract and retain employees.

To learn more on the benefits of reducing construction waste, and how to implement changes, download our Construction Waste Reduction Plan Guide.

NPDC Construction Waste Reduction Plan – a new requirement for commercial building projects

Construction waste guide cover         

From August 2021, anyone applying for a building consent for non-residential building work with an estimated value of $500,000 or higher must submit a Construction Waste Reduction Plan to NPDC for approval. 

This is a new requirement of the New Plymouth District Council 2019 Solid Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw. 

The NPDC Construction Waste Reduction Plan template is available in Excel and Word formats. You can download the templates below. 

The templates are sent to building consent applicants for commercial construction projects of $500,000 and over in value. The plan template can also be used voluntarily for any non-commercial construction project without submitting the plan to NPDC. 

Learn how to use the NPDC Construction Waste Reduction Plan template in our downloadable guide below.

For questions, support, or to submit your Construction Waste Reduction Plan at the end of Steps 2 and 4, email

New infrastructure to reduce commercial waste 

In 2022 NPDC is planning to construct a Commercial Waste Sorting Facility on Colson Road in New Plymouth. 

This facility which will sort usable, recyclable and compostable building materials from mixed skips. It will help keep valuable materials out of landfill, and save money compared to disposing of materials to landfill. 

We will update this page with further information over time. 

Signs for separating construction materials on site


The following signs can be used on construction sites to separate materials so they can be reused, recycled, composted or chipped by different providers.


Contact our Commercial Waste Officers on for support in setting up on-site separation systems. Or see the Construction Waste Reduction Plan Guide for lists of local reuse and recycling providers who can pick up materials from your site, or receive dropped off materials for free.

Further construction waste resources

BRANZ: Reducing building material waste

REBRI: Resource efficiency in the building and related industries

Building Out Waste: A guide for developers and building contractors