New Zealand's ranking as the 10th worst country for urban waste is "shameful" the Associate Environment Minister says, with an urgent review needed to change how the Waste Minimisation Act is implemented.
World Bank data shows that New Zealanders produce 3.68kg of waste per capita per day, the worst in the developed world.
Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage says the statistics are "shameful" and wants to significantly reduce waste going to landfill by 2020.
"It's time to turn around New Zealand's rubbish record on waste. New Zealanders have told me they want to do the right thing and we need to make that easy to do."
Ms Sage said she would be reviewing the implementation of the Waste Minimisation Act to see how it can be more effectively used.
"It's a good law, with effective provisions, but they haven't been used to the extent they should have."
Ms Sage said she would like to apply the landfill levy to more landfills, look at a container deposit and more product stewardship schemes.
These schemes are enacted when the Minister for the Environment declares a product to be a priority product, requiring producers to add the environmental cost into the product or design their products to be recyclable or reusable.
Zero Waste New Zealand co-director Jo Knight says New Zealand needs to invest in biogas plants that can convert the 28 per cent of organic waste ending up in a landfill.
She said New Zealand had "idiotic systems" for waste management, with most organic waste mixed in with plastics or put down incinerators that decompose in sewers.
Wellington City Councillor Iona Pannett said the answer to the capital's organic waste problem was city-wide compost collection but a plant would be a huge investment requiring funding from central government.
"Part of the problem I think is people want to do the right thing but there isn't a place we can put organic waste," she said.