Zero Waste

Grey Lynn Farmers Market aims to be a Zero Waste Market.

What is Zero Waste?

Zero waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators or the ocean.

Zero waste takes nature as its starting point, where there is no waste, because what is surplus to one part of the system becomes food or fuel for another part of the system.

Zero waste envisages a society where material is constantly cycled through different systems, adding value at each point in the cycle. For the market, a zero waste approach aims to ‘design out’ waste from the system. It is not just about managing waste that is created, but about continually seeking to improve the management of material flows so that eventually there are no materials used at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market that do not have further beneficial use.

A ‘zero waste’ market is a market run according to this zero waste philosophy, rather than a market from which there is not a single scrap of rubbish produced. A zero waste approach has implications for virtually all aspects of how the market is managed from the types of stallholders on site, their procurement of materials, education and communication, through to waste collection, processing and monitoring.

Re-use Table

The aim of the re-use table is to divert things from going to landfill that other community members would like to re-use. At the table next to the Waste Away stand you can bring and/or take away:

  • clean glass jars and lids

  • egg cartons


Project uplift

The Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away group has a bright pink wheelie bin located at the reuse depot at Market to support Project Uplift collecting old bras for women in the Pacific. Read more here.

Battery collection

Batteries are toxic waste and should not go in the landfill. The Waste Away stand has a battery collection box. A donation is appreciated to cover the cost of disposal.


Compostable Waste

GOOD NEWS!! Most market waste is compostable.

WE Compost kindly collects compostable waste from our big green bin and turns it into a valuable resource that is used to enrich soil. Healthy soils hold carbon in a living form and play an important role in our local food production.

What you can put in the big green bin :

  • Fruits & vegetables

  • Plants & flowers

  • Approved compostable packaging (e.g. PLA )

  • Meat, fish & dairy

  • Shells & bones

  • Eggshells, nutshells (and their paper cartons)

  • Pasta & rice

  • Breads & grains

  • Teabags, coffee grinds & filters

  • Paper bags, towels & newspapers

  • Uncoated paper plates & napkins


But please NO ...

  • Nappies and doggie doo (yep, we find these in our bins)

  • Polystyrene or plastic wrap

  • Plastic wrap

  • Condiment packaging

  • Boxes or cartons

  • Plastic food containers

  • Bottles or jars

  • Aluminium or metal cans


Out of courtesy, the market puts out a small recycling bin and a small landfill bin.

At the end of the market, we check that all (and only) compostable waste is in the big green bin.

BUT we have no magic wands and we do not have our own recycling and landfill bins. We find, guerilla-style, a kind bin to accept our non-compostable waste. Luckily there usually isn't too much but you can help by taking your non-compostable waste home with you.