WBOP wastes no time embracing new kerbside service

WBOPDC deputy CEO Gary Allis is happy the Western BOP’s Kerbside Collective service has achieved great waste-saving results in the first year. Photo: File.

The Western Bay of Plenty District has diverted almost twice the amount of waste from landfill than expected in the first year of the council’s rates-funded kerbside rubbish and recycling collection service.

Western BOP residents have stopped 3300 tonnes of material from going to landfill – including 1376 tonnes of glass, 575 tonnes of food waste and 1349 tonnes of mixed recycling in the first year of Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s rates-funded service.

Predicted to increase the amount of material diverted from landfill by about 60 per cent to around 1800 tonnes a year – a number the community nearly doubled.

WBOPDC deputy CEO and general manager infrastructure group manager Gary Allis says he’s impressed with the mahi (work) households are putting in to ensuring a sustainable future.

“We’re blown away with the efforts our residents are making with minimising their waste and doing their recycling right.”

Earlier this year WBOP residents voiced concern about the halt of kerbside collections due to lack of truck drivers due to them following Covid-19 isolation rules.

“Even with Covid-19 related disruptions and lockdowns, everyone has pulled together as a team and adjusted so well to what was a big shift with the new service.”

As part of ongoing education, council’s Kerbside Coach hits the streets each week, looking at what is in bins to ensure clean and correct materials are presented for recycling.

With educational tags in hand, the Kerbside Coach does random checks of recycling bins to let people know how they’re doing.

Residents receiving a green tag can congratulate themselves as it means they are doing recycling well. Receiving a yellow tag means there’s room for improvement and a red tag means the recycling is contaminated so can’t be picked up.

“Although most households are doing a great job, the most recent Solid Waste Analysis Protocol audit in December 2021 found that around 13 per cent of mixed recycling, and 34 per cent of kitchen waste was still being sent to landfill,” says Gary.

“Our dedicated Kerbside Collective website www.kerbsidecollective.co.nz has a handy item sorter tool and tips on recycling, so make sure you check it out – and ‘if in doubt, throw it out’ so we don’t undo our hard work and quality recycling doesn’t end up in landfill.”

Gary says the council designed the collection service to incentivise recycling, with a fixed charge for the recycling services and households only paying for the rubbish they generate, providing a financial incentive for people to reduce their waste.

“It’s important we keep up the good work to continue the fight against the landfill bulge.”

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