Zero Waste Education – Free to Kāpiti Schools

Are you learning about waste or looking at reducing waste at your school or early childhood centre? Check out our free waste education programme, resources, and grants to help you realise your waste minimisation projects.

Zero Waste Education Programme

This award-winning programme is available free-of-charge to all primary schools in Kāpiti. Delivered by our Waste Minimisation Officer, the programme enables children to investigate the link between the earth’s natural resources, the products they use and see around them and the resulting waste that pollutes our environment. It consists of seven different units each focussing on a specific solution to our waste problem:

  • Years 1/2: “Is that Really Rubbish Unit” and “The Litterless Lunchbox Unit” (2 lessons each)
  • Years 3/4: “Reduce Unit” and “Reuse Unit” (4 lessons each)
  • Years 5/6: “Recycling Unit” and “Composting Unit” (4 lessons each)
  • Years 7/8: “Resource Sustainability Unit” (4 lessons)

For more information check out the Zero Waste Education brochure and contact

Litterless Lunches

Have you had a look at how much waste comes to your school or early childhood centre each day in lunchboxes? Cling film, yoghurt pots, chippie packets… An average ‘litter-full’ lunchbox produces about 30kg of waste per year, and a medium-sized school might spend $5,000 each year on waste disposal.

Litterless Lunchboxes are a clever way to reduce waste, teach young people about waste minimisation, tackle litter and save families and schools money. Some schools and early childhood centres in Kāpiti have now made Litterless Lunchboxes compulsory.

Our Litterless Lunchbox brochure has some tips to get you started.

Recycling, Composting and Worm Farms

Food scraps and recyclable packaging can make up more than half of all waste generated at schools and early childhood centres. If you would like to set up a recycling system, or build a worm farm or compost bin, our Waste Minimisation Officer can support you. We also offer free waste checks for schools. Contact

Waste Reduction Grants are available for schools and early childhood centres to help with the costs of worm farms, classroom recycling bins, or to support other projects that will reduce waste.

Kāpiti Coast District Council also funds the Paper4Trees programme, which assists schools and early childhood centres with their paper recycling.

Transfer Station and Composting Facility Tours

If you would like to take a look behind the scenes at the Otaihanga Resource Recovery Centre or the Composting New Zealand composting operation, take your class for a tour! Tours are free but groups must organise their own transport. Contact to book your tour.

Make your fair or gala Zero Waste

School fairs are a great opportunity to showcase your school's achievements, including your commitment to environmental education and practices. Find out how to make your next fair or gala a Zero Waste Event here.

Litter clean-ups

Many schools run regular litter clean-ups at their local beach, stream or reserve. Council can support clean-ups by providing bags and gloves, and picking up the rubbish afterwards. Contact for support.

If you haven’t done it before, there are two national clean-up events each year that your school could participate in: Keep New Zealand Beautiful clean-up week in September and Seaweek in February/March.

Online resources

There are a lot of resources available online to help you with your waste minimisation teaching and projects, and we have selected a few examples:

One Planet provides a lot of information on different types of waste and the 3Rs. has resources to teach recycling at school.

Create Your Own Eden has guides on composting and worm farming at school.

Love Your Coast provides teaching resources to prepare your next litter clean-up.

Love Food Hate Waste New Zealand have developped lesson plans to teach students about food waste.