At the heart of our district are the beautiful mountains and lakes which our towns are nestled amongst. Our community shares the responsibility of being guardians of this stunning landscape. We hope that you will make the most of our wild playground, and care for it as we do by leaving no trace.

Come & explore

Wastebusters is known throughout Aotearoa New Zealand for its zero waste leadership. We have been working at a grassroots level with integrity and passion since 2000, to help to drive positive change and shape the future of our community towards a zero waste, circular economy. 

Wastebusters’ decades of work has laid the groundwork for a zero waste district, and with our partners, our motivated community and a shared vision we can be a leader in the transition to a circular economy. 

Our zero waste hub in Wānaka is a truly unique and fun experience. Voted the Local’s Choice Award for the Top Clothing Shop in Wānaka, you’ll find something to love in our funky, sustainable reuse shop. 

Visitors love exploring our range of designer clothes, ski gear, bespoke souvenirs, books, camping & tramping gear, toys and vintage treasures as well as just wandering around and immersing themselves in the vibrant and fun Wastebusters experience so many of us all love.

Within our community and district we have shared values and a shared responsibility as a local for a day, a week, a month or forever to collectively look after this beautiful region and respect the earth’s resources.

Here at Wastebusters we think that slow, conscious consumption, valuing our things and looking after them is far more fun and fulfilling than a disposable system. We encourage you on your trip to our region to embrace our values and take responsibility with us. 

We look forward to the day when zero waste is “just what we do here”. 


Close up of hand holding a globe, through globe view of a row colourful fridges.

Join us!

Reduce waste and support the organisations behind the movement while you are on holiday here in Wānaka!

Ditch the single-use cups

SUCfree Wānaka is a community-based campaign with the ultimate goal of Wānaka becoming Aoteroa’s first single-use cup free town! Wahoo!  

Help to make takeaway cups a thing of the past, by taking time to sit in and enjoy your coffee, bringing your own cup or using one of the cup lending schemes implemented in 24 local cafes and caravans.

You can get all of the information on SUCfree on their website and social media and a handy up-to-date guide on the locations who offer cup lending schemes or are 100% takeaway cup free. 

Real Recycling

As a district we’re committed to producing quality recycling that can be turned into new products. When you’re out and about, you’ll find our public space recycling stations accept aluminium cans and glass bottles. Single-stream recycling helps our district collect high quality material which can be made back into new products. Pop your cans in the black recycling bin and glass bottles in the blue recycling bin. Anything else can go in the red rubbish bin.  

If you think another item (like a plastic drink bottle) could be recycled at home, take it back and check with your accommodation provider – it may be able to go in their mixed recycling bin and you can always drop off your recycling to us here at Wastebusters for a small charge. If you’re travelling over the hill, recycling can be dropped off free of charge at Wakatipu Recycling Centre.

Package Free Shopping

We have so many options to reduce the packaging from your grocery shopping, essential travel items as well as those delicious local goods that are a must-try when you are visiting a new area. From package-free fresh fruit and vegetables, plastic-free meat, through to everyday staples like coffee, cereals, bread and eggs. 

Plastic Free Wānaka supports and updates Wānaka’s waste free shipping guide, and if you’re travelling on to our neighbouring towns, check out the Rubbish Trip’s excellent guides for Queenstown and Central Otago

Shop second hand first

If you find yourself needing something new while you are on your holiday here or you haven’t come prepared with quite the right outfit for the weather – shop second hand first!

We are fortunate to have loads of second hand shops in our region and Wastebusters’ reuse shop in Wānaka is bursting with a huge range of designer clothes, ski gear, camping & tramping gear as well as vintage treasures. Take up our community’s zero waste movement and embrace slow, conscious consumption and find an item you can truly look after and value.

This is a unique and special place – thanks for helping us to look after it! 

Four of the recycling crew standing in front of wool fadges filled with recycling fready for baling. They're wearing high vis tops, shorts and steel capped shoes, smiling at the camera.
Here are our top picks for other ways of reducing your waste while on holiday:

Composting your food waste 

When food waste breaks down in landfill it produces the harmful greenhouse gas methane.

Ask your accommodation provider if they can compost your food scraps, contact Grow Wānaka or check the ShareWaste app to find a local composter who will welcome your food scraps. 

Refilling your drink bottle

Our water is safe to drink from the taps and water fountains, so make sure you bring your reusable water bottle with you and reduce your single-use plastic waste.

Head to RefillNZ to find our local refill stations or refill your bottle at home before you venture out for the day.

Take your reusable bag

Plastic bags are banned in NZ so bring your reusable bag when you go shopping.

You can support Plastic Free Wānaka by purchasing a beautifully made reusable bag which doubles as a souvenir for when you leave!

Get involved with our community

We run loads of fun zero waste events to celebrate repair, slow fashion and more. Find out what’s coming up on our events page or social media channels.  

Our friends at Grow Wānaka, Te Kākano and Wānaka Community Workshop/Fabricate also welcome volunteers.