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IMPORTANT COUNCIL PLANS FOR RUBBISH AND RECYCLING IN TAURANGA AND WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY



COUNCIL PLANS FOR RUBBISH AND RECYCLING


Tauranga Council is currently carrying out a review of their Waste Minimisation Plan. It appears that they think too much organic material and glass is currently going to landfill. In order to remedy this they are considering a number of proposals ranging from leaving things as they are (all private sector and use-pays) to changing to a rates-funded rubbish and recycling collection.

Updated 24th July 2016


Since we last posted information on this subject there have been significant changes. Western Bay Council have decided not to proceed with a joint Waste Minimisation Plan but instead to prepare their own plan – we are waiting to see what it looks like but we understand that a rates-funded collection system is probably not being considered.


Tauranga City Council have now produced a revised Waste Minimisation Plan – this was open for submissions until 14th July, hearings are next Thursday 28th July and the Council will decide whether to adopt the plan (with or without changes) in August or September. The plan proposes to investigate a full kerbside service covering all waste streams. As this is the only significant proposal in the plan that covers domestic waste we read this as a determination on the part of council staff to impose a rates-funded collection system on the city regardless of the wishes of ratepayers. Apparently no consideration is to be given to alternative solutions such as more public recycling options although they are widely used in other countries.

We  (Kleana Bins) have made submissions to the plan and will be speaking in support of them next week. We know that many of our customers have voiced their opposition to council plans and support for our position – we thank you all for your support, especially those who have made submissions to Council or signed our petition. Sadly we have little confidence that this will be the end of the matter – although some councillors and council staff have been assuring us that nothing will happen before 2019 we expect to have to fight the same battle again in three years time or less.

In the meantime we will be watching closely what happens in Rotorua – their rates-funded system starts operating in September and although Rotorua council is refusing to supply information on costs at present we are confident that their overall costs will eventually prove to be much higher than the budget figures supplied last year.

Press Articles on these matters:

 

http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/130066-wrong-assumptions-about-city-rubbish.html

 

http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/128391-trash-talk-over-tauranga-rubbish.html

 

 


 


MAY 2016

 

These Council Plans will greatly effect your wallet, quality of service you receive and your freedom of choice.

 

Tauranga and Western Bay Councils are currently carrying out a review of their Waste Minimisation Plan. It appears that they think too much organic material and glass is currently going to landfill. In order to remedy this they are considering a number of proposals ranging from leaving things as they are (all private sector and use-pays) to changing to a rates-funded rubbish and recycling collection.

These proposals are detailed in a council document which can be accessed via a link in a story on the Sunlive website titled "The future of WBOP rubbish”. Alternatively you can click on:

http://econtent.tauranga.govt.nz/data/bigfiles/committee_meetings/2016/april/agen_jgov_13apr2016_dc104.pdf

 

A large part of this (147 page) document is a consultants report making the case for rates-funded council provision of rubbish and recycling services – we assume councillors will be asked to make their decision based on this. Unfortunately this report appears to be full of incorrect statements and wildly inaccurate estimates.

For instance it claims that currently 8,000 properties in Western Bay have no access to kerbside rubbish or recycling services – in fact there are less than 100. Another example is a claim that within the two districts total public spending on rubbish and recycling is currently $37,500,000 pa – we believe the correct figure is more like $14,000,000 and certainly no more than $18,000,000.

For more than 20 years the private sector has provided a range of services from a number of different providers. This means that most residents can choose the type and size of bins they want, the frequency of collection and quality of service and the provider they prefer. Competition has kept prices down and means we all have to maintain service quality or risk losing business. This has also provided incentives to the public to produce less waste (composting can greatly reduce your rubbish disposal costs) and to recycle more (recycling bins are cheaper than rubbish bins).

We also believe that there are many other ways to deal with these problems – more free recycling drop-off points at supermarket and shopping centre car parks could greatly increase the amount being recycled and could well make a tidy profit (for the Council) after covering the initial set-up cost. On-going public education regarding composting and worm farms (with or without subsidies) could make a difference. Reducing the cost of disposing greenwaste would also make greenwaste bins more attractive – it shouldn’t cost $90 per ton to get rid of grass clippings.


If you agree with us (e/a keeping the Status Quo)  please make the effort to take part in the public consultation in June or, better still, e-mail your views to your councillor(s). E-mail addresses of all councillors are available on the respective council websites.

For Tauranga City Council :

 http://www.tauranga.govt.nz/our-council/the-elected-members/mayor-and-councillors.aspx

For Western Bay of Plenty District Council:

http://www.westernbay.govt.nz/our-council/council-members/Pages/default.aspx