Trashing the new rubbish collection

James Newman with five weeks’ worth of recycling that he takes to the transfer station. Photo: John Borren.

The new ‘one size fits all’ approach to rubbish collection in Tauranga continues to be slated by residents, especially seniors.

From July 1, the rates funded rubbish and recycling service will replace the current services households have with private contractors.

The council-led service will consist of a 140L rubbish bin, a 240L recycling bin and a 23L food scrap bin to add to their existing 45L glass recycling crate. Food scraps will be collected weekly with the others collected fortnightly.

It is not only the $230 added to rates that is upsetting residents, but the number of bins and people feeling they are forced to used it.

James Newman is happy with his current system of taking all his recycling to the transfer station once every five or six weeks and putting out one council rubbish bag just as seldom.

Council aren’t giving people a choice about the bins, says the Mount Maunganui home owner.

The octogenarian spends less than $100 a year on waste disposal and doesn’t want to drag heavy bins up his 100m driveway.

“As far as I'm concerned, they [the bins] can stay on the side of the road until they take them away again, I won't accept them.”

James can get away with not putting out any general rubbish and continuing to recycle.

Council infrastructure general manager Nic Johansson says the decision for the new service was made following consultation with the community as part of the Long Term Plan 2018-28.

He says 66 per cent of people who submitted to the plan were in favour of a council-led kerbside waste collection service.

Welcome Bay resident Elly Maynard also wants to keep the current collection system because of the increased cost.

Elly and her husband have mobility issues so they are unable to get bins to the bottom of their steep driveway.

Their support worker takes the one bag of rubbish they produce a week to the roadside for them.

Elly will apply for the assisted service that is available for those who are physically unable to get the bins to and from the curb.

The service will be free of charge to people who have a disability or ailment that prevents them from moving the bins, they must also not have anyone in the household or community support that can do this for them.

Council sustainability and waste manager Sam Fellows says people will need a medical certificate to verify a physical, neurological, sensory or intellectual impairment to accompany the request form.

Once council have reviewed the form, they will meet with the resident at their home to find a place to service the bins. People who are unable to move their bins are encouraged to contact council on 07 577 7000, says Sam.

Elly says the service will be helpful but requiring a medical certificate is just another added cost.

Her suggestion is council use biodegradable rubbish bags in place of the black plastic bags instead of being forced to use the new system.

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