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409 Reduce Your Rubbish

A support for a Ministry for the Environment pilot campaign, the Reduce Your Rubbish website raises awareness and provides practical tips for households on sustainable waste management practices.

A pilot campaign

The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) provides leadership and develops policy to safeguard New Zealand’s environmental wellbeing. In 2003, MfE supported a pilot campaign to raise public awareness of environmentally-sustainable waste management practices.

Rubbish-it doesn’t go away

…almost 65% of all rubbish that ends up in landfills could be composted or recycled.

A key aim of the campaign was to change the public perception of landfills—the destination for most curbside rubbish collection.

In researching the issue, MfE found that almost 65% of the rubbish that ends up in landfills could be composted or recycled. A common belief countered by the campaign was that rubbish in a landfill will eventually ‘break-down’. In reality, plastic, steel and even some paper-based materials may take tens or hundreds of years to biodegrade.

Motive worked with MfE to design the website and online collateral for the campaign, including banner ads and link images.


Homepage Encouraging New Zealanders to reduce
the amount of rubbish that ends up in landfill.

Accepting The Challenge

Accepting The Challenge Households (including a couple of celebrity entrants) that pledged to reduce their rubbish were in to win a host of prizes.

Campaign buttons and banners

Distributed promotion Partner organisations were provided with link images to display on their websites.


Practical steps

…how to reduce the amount of rubbish put out for collection.

The website includes a rubbish check-up sheet to help households evaluate their rubbish disposal practices. During the campaign, website visitors were encouraged to submit tips on how they reduce the amount of rubbish put out for collection.

“The design of the website is simple and practical,” explains Andy Kirkwood, Motive’s creative director. “The orange [also used for the campaign posters] promotes the idea of taking action—that individual households can make a difference.”

Encouraging the public to ‘take action’ was supported by the ‘Reduce Your Rubbish Challenge’, a competition where households made a formal pledge to increase their recycling efforts.

A portal to local and regional council services

The campaign strategy included redirecting users to information on waste management provided by local and regional councils (respectively responsible for rubbish collection and landfill management).

E-government best practice citation

In Achieving e-government 2004: A report on progress toward the E-government Strategy, the Reduce Your Rubbish website was cited as a best practice example in the categories of:

The website has also been recognized by e-Govt watch (an organisation that assesses New Zealand public sector websites) with an Accessibility rating of 91.7 (out of 100).

The Reduce Your Rubbish website was launched May 2003 and retired in July 2009 (that’s six years of active service!).

Case notes

Reduce Your Rubbish

(retired July 2009)
Feb–May 2003
Ministry for the Environment

Services rendered

Further reading