An environmental group is hoping to reduce the amount of rubbish in the city's landfill one dinner plate at a time.
Wash Against Waste is a mobile trailer kitted out with plates, cutlery, soap suds and tea towels.
It's the creation of the charitable trust EcoMatters who hope to stop more packaging ending up in landfills by hand-washing dishes at large events.
EcoMatters waste management programme manager Sarah Jane Murray says one family alone can chuck out the equivalent of a rugby pitch of rubbish.
"People have to think about the rubbish they're generating. Eventually we'll be tripping over our rubbish.
"This can't happen if we're trying to be a liveable city by 2040, we need zero waste."
The New Lynn-based organisation received a grant of $23,000 from Auckland Council's Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund in April which has helped to fund the trailer.
The trailer has a cylinder which can hold 180 litres of water heated by solar panels and much of the equipment is second-hand or donated.
Volunteers wash the plates in four stages: a pre-wash in hot water, a hot soapy wash, a rinse, and finally a sanitising rinse where the plates sit in 75 degree water for two minutes.
Wash Against Waste has already been in action at the New Lynn Night Markets for the past 14 weeks.
Since being involved in the market, Miss Murray says they have prevented 54 bags of rubbish and more than 260 kilograms of food waste from going to landfill.
The aim is to eventually have several trailers available to be rented out for community events or festivals.
In the meantime the first trailer can be rented at the end of this month.
Auckland Council's solid waste manager Ian Stupple says the trailer is a great way to help make summer events more environmentally friendly.
"It's a great idea for reducing waste, and fits well with a key focus of our fund to support community action and behaviour change."
Applications for Auckland Council's Waste Minimisation And Innovation Fund is for groups with great ideas for projects that reduce waste to landfill and is now open.
For more information on the Waste Minimisation And Innovation Fund visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz, or to rent the Wash Against Waste trailer contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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