Current waste issues

We're researching several categories of waste that affect Canterbury and have national relevance.


Burning tyres is illegal and is nationally prohibited under the National Environmental Standard for Air Quality (2004).  In Canterbury, the burning of all rubber (which includes tyres) is prohibited under the Canterbury Air Regional Plan (CARP) rule 7.7(a).

For information on the pollutants and the possible health and environmental effects associated with them please view our tyre disposal brochure.

If you think someone is burning tyres please call Environment Canterbury on 0800 765 588.

To view district council facilities in Canterbury that accept tyres please see the below links or look at our brochure.

For more information on the storage and stockpiling of end of life tyres see Waikato Regional council’s guidance.


The safe disposal of asbestos waste from demolition and earthquake repairs is a priority for Environment Canterbury and other government agencies.

Find out more about managing asbestos waste here.

Treated timber

Treated timber is a hazardous waste and currently the only viable option for its disposal in Canterbury is landfilling.

Not only is this costly, but we also get nothing back from this waste. We don't reuse, recycle or recover energy from it because of the difficulty of dealing with the treatment of chemicals in the timber.

We need to look at alternative options in Canterbury, and wider New Zealand, which aim to reuse, recycle or recover energy from treated timber and start using this waste as a resource.

Treated Timber Waste Minimisation Project

The Treated Timber Waste Minimisation Project was completed in December 2013.

It tested the feasibility of, and subsequently developed, a sustainable business model for the large scale collection and reuse, recycling and/or recovery of hazardous treated timber waste.

It had a particular focus on earthquake-related building and demolition waste.

The Governments' Waste Minimisation Fund provided $145,000 towards the total project cost of $190,900.

Environment Canterbury, the Building Research Association of New Zealand, Scion and the Canterbury Waste Joint Committee also contributed to the cost of the project.

Project documents

Industry overview
A situation analysis and overview of the current waste treated timber industry and potential applications for treated timber waste. 
International industry trends
An overview of key international trends and technological developments in the treated timber waste industry internationally and how the application of different elements of these might work in New Zealand.
Potential scenarios
A report detailing potential new waste treated timber collection and reuse, recycling and/or recovery systems for application in New Zealand, and the risks, financial implications and potential benefits of each scenario.
Timber identification tool development
A report providing an overview of international research related to treated timber waste identification on demolition and/or waste processing sites and a feasibility study on the application of this research to create a tool or toolkit suitable for use in New Zealand.
Detailed business cases
Detailed business cases and stakeholder collaboration for each preferred scenario, including pilot trial plans.
Pilot trials
A final report detailing pilot processes and outcomes, and scenario details and implementation plan for the preferred option.
Project update report
A brief update on the progress of the potential waste treated timber solution providers.