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Council proposes stopping kerbside collection of inorganic rubbish

A service that flies in the face of waste minimisation goals and aspirations could be for the chop in the Waikato district.

Waikato District Council is proposing to stop its annual inorganic rubbish kerbside collection service because it encourages waste to landfill, it is getting too expensive, and it is both difficult and potentially dangerous to deliver.

A proposal to stop the service is included in Waikato District Council’s 2021-31 Long Term Plan Consultation Document.

Waikato District Council is the only local authority in New Zealand that offers a kerbside inorganic rubbish collection.

Waikato district Mayor Allan Sanson acknowledged that the service was popular with many in his community but said that there were also many challenging issues with delivery of the annual service.

“These issues include the health and safety of both our contractors and the general public, illegal dumping, compliance with rules, the fact that the cost of delivering the service is increasing every year and that the service contradicts waste minimisation legislation and our own Waste Management Minimisation Plans,” he said.

Due to increased landfill costs associated with the waste minimisation levy and traffic management needs, the cost to deliver the kerbside inorganic rubbish collection service is likely to continue to increase substantially over time.  

“For 2019/20 Council had a budget of $330,000 but the actual cost to deliver the service was $395,000. Increasing costs of delivering the kerbside inorganic service are likely to reach $490,000 per year by 2024,” said Mayor Sanson.

Council is planning to introduce Resource Recovery Centres in Huntly and Tuakau. Council believes that these will provide the community an opportunity to dispose of inorganic waste more sustainably. 

Items disposed of at Resource Recovery Centres are reused or recovered wherever possible. Currently under the kerbside inorganic rubbish collection system, everything is sent straight to landfill. 

There are two options in the consultation document for Waikato district residents to choose from: 

  • Council can continue to deliver the service with an increase to the solid waste targeted rate (for everyone who currently receives a refuse collection) to cover the true cost of the service.
  • Or Council can stop the service from year 1 of the 2021-31 Long Term Plan. This is Council’s preferred option.

Feedback is open until 5pm on Friday 7 May 2021. 

Waikato District Council is also asking its community what general rate increase option they prefer and whether Council should sell its pensioner housing. 

This consultation is also asking for feedback on the way Council hands out funding, its user fees and charges, its development contributions policy and it is undertaking a community hall catchment review. 

A number of these challenges and the issues Council wants feedback on are outlined in the consultation document, which is available from all of Council offices and libraries and by phoning on 0800 492 452, otherwise check out www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/ltp for more information and have your say today. 

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