Forty-two thousand tonnes of rubbish is a lot. It's half of the total 84,000 tonnes of waste Hawke's Bay residents dumped into Omarunui landfill last year.
The difference is, this 42,000 tonnes of rubbish didn't need to be there. It could have been reused, composted, or recycled - instead it became part of the waste in the Taradale valley, costing Hawke's Bay ratepayers and increasing damaging greenhouse gases and toxins.
In total, close to 80 per cent can be diverted from the landfill - with items like electronic waste given value through reuse or recycling.
It is diverting this unnecessary waste by reducing, recovering and recycling that is part of the future vision of the landfill owners, the Napier City and Hastings District councils.
Here in Hawke's Bay, it is estimated each person sends close to 500kg of waste to Omarunui Landfill each year, with the amount of waste the region produces annually increasing due to population and economic growth.
In 2012/2013 the landfill received 71,500 tonnes of waste from Napier and Hastings. In just four years this grew to 75,3000 tonnes. Then last year 84,000 tonnes of waste was dumped - an unsustainable increase of 11 per cent in just one year.
Looking forward, Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said she wanted the district council, and Napier City Council to be "leading the way" in New Zealand on how waste is treated.
"Our top priorities should be to always reduce, reuse and recycle our waste so we can extend the length of our existing landfill," she said.
"It's time to change the way we dispose of waste, rather than expecting landfills to keep expanding for future use. It is the whole community's responsibility to try to reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfills."
There was an environmental and economic benefit to reducing waste sent to the landfill, Napier mayor Bill Dalton said.
"We have a landfill that is filling rapidly, if we can divert part of that waste stream to recycling then Omarunui will last much longer and therefore cut down the cost to the ratepayers.
"A lot of this stuff finding its way into the waste stream is very much compostable and therefore is very much a product that can be composted and provide a benefit to society rather than a cost to society to bury."
To reduce waste, the two councils have joined together for their joint draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2018 -2024, which seeks to oversee the right management of waste, reducing public health risks and promoting a safe and sustainable environment to live in.
Landfills produce damaging greenhouse gases and toxins, and have a finite lifespan, which will depend on how much waste it receives. As well as the environmental impact of diverting waste, it would save tens of millions in operations and in deferring the cost of opening new landfills.
Mrs Hazlehurst said it would cost about $30 million for a new landfill - for initial build and operating costs - which would last around 25 years depending on how much waste was dumped there.
"This is a massive cost to our community and could be unnecessary if we all step up and make more effort to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills."
While consumers needed to do their part to reduce the amount of waste they used, Mr Dalton said this was something that needed to be considered "at every level of society".
"Certainly the consumers should be looking at where their rubbish goes, and what can be recycled but manufacturers should be looking at putting their products in recyclable packaging ... it's at every level of the chain."
The councils have proposed a number of ideas in a bid to reduce this volume and extend the life of the landfill.
With around 58 per cent of a household's bag content divertable, ideas include replacing rubbish bags with a council-provided wheelie bin, crates for recycling, and bins for garden green waste and kitchen food scraps.
The costings of bins versus bags are not easy to compare given the varied cost of wheelie bin services, and between Napier and Hastings.
Other changes include rural recycle centres becoming more common, in a bid to help rural residents move away from disposing of rubbish on their farms. Maraekakaho was one of two rural areas to be part of a two-year trial using smaller recycling bins, before the roll-out of the containers.
The Government is also looking toward opportunities to reduce waste.
New Zealand ranks as the 10th worst country for urban waste, while Kiwis produce around 3.68kg of waste per capita per day - the worst in the developed world.