You are invited to submit an abstract for WasteMINZ’s 31st Annual Conference. Our theme for 2019 is:

Toitū te whenua, whatungarongaro he tangata – the land remains when people have disappeared.

This whakatauki (proverb) is about kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and ultimately legacy. This theme invites members to share how they are working to improve Aotearoa’s social and environmental outcomes through their work in the waste sector. It asks the questions:

• How do we, as a sector, encourage positive behaviour change?
• How will we ensure the wellbeing of future generations?
• How can we encourage innovation and safeguard the future of the sector?

We need you!

The success of our conference depends on the active participation of our members, so we need you to share your stories, showcase your innovative practices and ideas, and ask thought-provoking questions. Successful abstracts will be relevant, original, and inspirational.

Why submit an abstract?

• To help create a better future
• To inspire others through your thought leadership
• To gain exposure for your work and your organisation, leading to additional opportunities
• To enhance your reputation in the industry
• To present your research findings or case studies

Important dates:

• Submission of abstracts deadline: 12 June 2019
• Conference registrations open: 26 June 2019
• Notice of acceptance: 27 June 2019
• Submission of final paper (for judging): 19 August 2019
• Submission of PowerPoint presentation: 16 September 2019

Presenters’ costs:

Presenters are responsible for their expenses and must register and pay for their registration to the WasteMINZ conference.  Registration opens on 26 June 2019 and presenters receive a 10 per cent discount on the registration fee.

Submitting your abstract:

To submit your abstract, please click here.

Please feel free to get in touch with Sarah Pritchett if you have any questions. 

We look forward to receiving your abstract.


We invite abstracts in the following broad topic areas. Your abstracts can be technical, or application based (such as case studies).

Toitū te whenua, whatungarongaro he tangata – The land remains when people have disappeared

• Case studies that demonstrate the waste sector’s role in ensuring the wellbeing of future generations
• The legacy of the waste sector – learning from the past to inform the future
• The waste sector’s role in reducing climate change emissions

He Tirohanga Māori ki te Para – Māori Views About Waste

• Working within a Te Tiriti framework to address waste – what does this mean and what does it look like?
• How can traditional Māori knowledge address the issue of waste?
• Working in Māori communities
• What can Te Ao Pākehā learn from Te Ao Māori perspective on waste?

Behaviour change

• Behaviour change inside and out of the classroom – what and how are we teaching young people and our communities about waste and recycling
• Innovative community engagement initiatives
• How to develop a waste minimisation strategy for schools, businesses
• Case studies of how organisations participated in Plastic Free July
• Communicating to diverse communities

Contaminated land management

• Lead based paint on houses – is it an issue?
• Climate change and contaminated land – assessing risk
• How is asbestos being treated on site?
• PFAS – what now?
• PSI vs. DSI – pros and cons
• HAIL identification – how well is this being done?
• Links between the NESCS and groundwater contamination
• Innovative remediation technologies and developments on brownfield sites
• Case studies on contaminated land legal procedures/processes undertaken in NZ

Council issues

• Recyclables and coping with the new normal. Short and long-term approaches
• Case studies on communicating changes in service provision

Disposal to land

• Landfills in 2019 – are they still a significant part of the NZ waste solution?
• Liquid waste – good practice
• Unintended consequences of raising and broadening the waste disposal levy
• Handling and acceptance of asbestos and asbestos in soil
• Landfill operations and health and safety
• Landfill fires: Detection methods, effects of a fire and consenting considerations

Food waste and organic materials

• Packaging innovations and future challenges for compostability
• Council food waste collections, is this the way of the future?
• Biosolids – opportunities and challenges
• Tackling commercial and industrial waste streams

Caring for your workforce

• Managing critical risks
• Looking after the mental health of our people
• Aging population – what will the effects be in relation to accessing appropriate skills and a workforce, are we prepared and what are we putting in place to prepare?
• Literary and numeracy – how are we tackling these issues in our workplaces?
• Attracting and retaining staff

Problem waste streams and product stewardship

• Legislative approaches to product stewardship (overseas examples or the Waste Minimisation Act)
• Product stewardship as a step towards a circular economy
• Case studies of existing and proposed schemes
• Envisaging a container deposit scheme for Aotearoa


• Programmes and initiatives to combat ocean plastic
• Circular economy opportunities for plastics reprocessing and using recycled plastic in product design
• Can social procurement policies create end markets for plastics in New Zealand?


• Case studies on changes in packaging to improve recycling and end of life outcomes
• Change and innovation in packaging design
• Life Cycle Assessment of packaging options
• Is it possible to be packaging free?