Living Sustainably


Take only pictures, leave only footprints…

We have a unique island environment and there are some things that you need to know to help maintain this special piece of paradise.

Water is a precious resource on Waiheke. Rainy days are welcomed and water conservation in the home is a way of life.

If you run out of water you can buy it –but it is expensive. To conserve water:

Keep showers short

Use the plug in the sink and, where suitable, collect and re-use the water on the garden

Full washing loads for dishes or clothes

Don’t run the tap while teeth-cleaning

Don’t flush the toilet unnecessarily

Every home on Waiheke has a septic tank; it is a ‘living’ system and is sensitive to what you put in it. Whatever you wash into a drain will end up in the septic tank so:

Don’t flush anything down the toilet except toilet paper and human waste

Don’t put excessive amounts of waste water through the system – reuse grey water etc. for gardening purposes

Make sure household cleaners and detergents can be safely used in septic tanks. Avoid using bleach as this is particularly harmful to septic systems. The WRT has a range of septic friendly B.E.E cleaning products available for purchase so come in and see us at the Waiheke Resource Centre in Artworks.

Avoid tipping grease, oil, coffee grounds etc. down the plughole.

All rubbish created on the island has to be transported off. Waiheke has no landfill and it costs $200 to transport every tonne of waste we collect. Waiheke islanders are very good at recycling and we encourage you to be to.


You can help reduce waste on the island by thinking before you buy. Buying in bulk, bringing your own containers for goods, growing your own food and using reusable shopping bags are all practical ways that reduce the amount of waste on the island.


Your trash may be someone else’s treasure and on Waiheke there’s a strong culture of reuse. You can donate items to childcare centres and schools for arts projects or to local op-shops; use the local papers’ recycling columns or even sell unwanted gear at the local Saturday market in Ostend.

Composting your food waste is another re-use option. The Waiheke Resources Trust can advise you on composting including traditional composting methods as well as worm farming or the Bokashi anaerobic methods. Garden waste can also be composted or you can drop it off at the transfer station in Ostend.


There are both a household recycling collection and public recycling bins available on Waiheke.  Contact the transfer station on 09 372 1070 for information on collection days for your area. While you are out and about we encourage you to use the public recycling bins around the island and prevalent at the popular beaches.

For household recycling collection items for recycling should be clean and put into plastic shopping bags or official recycling bins. If you miss the household collection it’s free to drop your recyclables at the transfer station in Ostend without charge.

Rubbish collection 

Every household on Waiheke gets 52 official red rubbish bags or a 120 litre Wheelie Bin every year paid for through the rates. Rubbish can only be picked up in these official receptacles, but extra bags can be bought from the local supermarket, the council offices in Ostend or at the transfer station in Ostend.

We might be a little bit biased because we live here, but we think Waiheke and the rest of the Hauraki Gulf  are worth a visit or even a volunteering day. Here’s some suggestions on where and what you could do if you want a natural heritage experience…

Whakanewha Regional Park – Waiheke island

On the south side of the Waiheke Island, at Whakanewha Regional Park there are several great walking tracks through mature coastal forest with taraire, kohekohe and old kanuka trees, cascading streams, and sweeping crescent-shaped beach cut in two by a forested headland.

A large wetland is home to some uncommon birds, bittern, banded rail, spotless crake and the New Zealand dotterel.

At high tide the water is shallow, warm and ideal for children. Picnic spots on the foreshore are plentiful. At low tide a broad expanse of sandy tidal flats is revealed. The beach is divided into two sections by the pa promontory.

Whakanewha means “to shade the eyes from the setting sun.” The site became a regional park in 1994 and was officially opened in 2007. Camping is permitted. Bookings advisable Ph: 366 2000

Hauraki Marine park

The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park was established by special legislation in February 2000. The marine park protects important areas within a lived-in, worked-in environment and includes land controlled by different agencies.

The marine park protects in perpetuity the natural and historic features of the Gulf that are of national and international importance for their quality and the presence of wildlife and plants not found anywhere else in the world.

There are many ways to connect with the marine park. You can visit unique places, experience special values, learn about the rich natural and cultural heritage, or get involved in helping care for ‘Our Treasured Living Space’.

The Department of Conservation website is a great way to find out where you can go and what you can do across the Auckland region. Find out more


Welcome to Waiheke pack

Waiheke is a fabulous place to live, it’s beautiful, it’s friendly and it needs a special kind of love.

Kai Conscious Café

Visit the Sustainability Centre on a Friday and join the shared lunch prepared by our Kai Conscious.

Get composting

We can help you get you started at home with workshops, support and composting products including Bokashi systems and worm farms.


Every time you refill an empty container – that’s one less plastic bottle in the world and a bit more cash in your back pocket.

Community fridge and pantry

The community fridge and pantry is just outside the Sustainability Centre door and it is open to all, 24/7.

Volunteers and internships

Join one of our amazing projects and help restore our beautiful wetlands, reduce our food waste and support our community.

Waiheke Resources Trust is aligned with 13 of the 17 United Nations Sustainability Development Goals.