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Waikato communities all set to follow Raglan’s lead

Waikato District Council’s new refuse and recycling services will be introduced on 1 July and are designed using the learnings of Raglan’s environmentally-friendly approach.

Significant changes are being introduced district-wide on 1 July to help reduce the amount of waste households currently send to landfill. One of the major changes is to a user pays system.

The good news for Raglan is these changes will be minimal, as the township’s refuse collection has operated on a user-pays system for the past 15 years with very few issues.

Waikato District Council General Manager Service Delivery, Tim Harty, says Raglan’s current pre-paid bag system will remain unchanged ($2.80 for a 60L blue bag and $1.50 for a 30L yellow bag).

“Raglan is a terrific example of the positive impacts of a user-pays refuse collection system. Residents are more conscious of what they put in their refuse bags so generally make a bigger effort to recycle as a result.”

With help from community enterprise organisation Xtreme Zero Waste, approximately 75 per cent of Raglan’s waste is already diverted from landfill and turned into useful resources.

“We’re confident that the new user-pays system being introduced district-wide will help other Waikato residents’ understand how they can recycle more items or start composting food and garden waste. Raglan is living proof that it can, and does, work,” Mr Harty says.

One upcoming change for Raglan residents will be the delivery of a second brand new 55L teal-coloured recycling crate on June 28 and June 30 to all urban households. 

“By having two crates, residents will have the opportunity to put glass in one and all other recyclables in the other,” Mr Harty says.

The second crate will allow residents to divert an even greater volume of recyclables including plastics labeled from 1-7, soft plastics (bread bags, cling wrap, bubble wrap), tin cans, aluminium cans and separated paper and cardboard.  By recycling more, less money will be spent on pre-paid bags. By diverting what was once waste into resources, local jobs can also be created.

“By placing your glass in one crate and other recyclables in the other crate you will save the Xtreme Zero Waste collections team a lot of time sorting while on the run.  With the increase in numbers during the summer months it’s difficult to get around Raglan in a day.  Separating glass into one crate will make a big difference in reducing the time taken to complete the collection, as well as increase safety in handling,” Mr Harty says.

 Information on what can be recycled is on the Xtreme Zero Waste website at, Xtreme Zero Waste Facebook page or on the Council’s website 

“Waikato District Council is committed to improving our district-wide recycling rates as described in our Waste Minimisation Plan and the National Waste Minimisation Strategy.  Waste minimisation is core business for Council and we are hoping that these new systems will result in a greater diversion rate for the future,” Mr Harty says.

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