Technical Guidelines for Disposal to Land

Read and download the updated guidelines here.

Note that the guidelines and appendices have been combined into a single document.


The basis for the development of the Technical Guidelines for Disposal to Land was the need for better guidance, as existing documents were developed at different times to different briefs, which resulted in inconsistencies.

The document has been designed to provide technical guidance on the siting, design, construction, operation, and monitoring for disposal to land and in essence 'brings together' and supersedes the following documents:
  • A Guide to the Management of Cleanfills (Ministry for the Environment 2002)
  • Landfill Guidelines (Centre for Advanced Engineering 2000)

The Technical Guidelines for Disposal to Land seek to establish 'good practice requirements' for the various landfill classes based on waste acceptance criteria.

Key changes in this version

Key changes in this version of the guidelines are:
  • Waste acceptance criteria (WAC) for Class 3 Managed Fills have been added.
  • WAC for Class 4 Controlled Fills have been updated to ensure consistency between the Class 3 and 4 waste class definitions and criteria.
  • Information around the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, including the expanded data reporting and levy payment requirements, has been updated.
  • In September 2023 a typographical error in table 5.5 was corrected.

Click here to see a summary of the changes.

History of the guidelines

In mid-2012 WasteMINZ's Landfill and Residual Waste Sector Group formed a Project Team to guide the development of the Technical Guidelines for Disposal to Land.

The Project Team included a broad range of key stakeholders including representatives from territorial authorities, regional councils and the commercial sector. The project received partial funding from the Ministry for the Environment under its strategic alliance with WasteMINZ.

Following significant consultation, the guidelines and appendices were finalised and published in April 2016. They were updated and republished (Revision 2) in August 2018.

This revision of the guidelines (Revision 3) was undertaken to provide WAC for Class 3 Fills and to address issues raised by the Regional Waste and Contaminated Land Officers Forum (now the Contaminated Land and Waste Special Interest Group). A reference group was created, including members of the WasteMINZ Disposal to Land Sector Group Steering Committee, industry experts and Ministry for the Environment staff, and consultants Pattle Delamore Partners were contracted to develop the criteria.