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Proposed charges support waste minimisation

20 August 2004

Proposed charges support waste minimisation

Waste minimisation initiatives on Waiheke Island are continuing with Auckland City’s Works Committee recommending the council adopt new charges at the refuse transfer station.

Councillor Bill Christian, chairperson of Auckland City’s Works Committee, says the charges support the ongoing work on Waiheke Island to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill.

“The charges reflect our policy of minimising waste. Under the proposed schedule of charges there will be no cost for disposing of recyclables, organic matter or reusable items,” he says.

The proposed charges move from a volume-based assessment to weight-based. Mr Christian says this move would create a level playing field.

“A volume-based assessment can be arbitrary. Weighing each vehicle as it enters and leaves the station leaves no room for mistakes. It is a fair system where all users pay the same rates, dependent on the weight of their load and type of rubbish,” Mr Christian says.

Charges relating to other specific materials, such as polystyrene, which is very light but bulky, would be considered as part of Auckland City’s pricing review of the 2005 to 2006 charges.

The Works Committee also recommended increasing the cost of buying additional rubbish bags from $2.50 to $3.50.

“Our waste minimisation education programme that we run with the Waiheke Waste Resource Trust encourages residents to recycle and reuse more.

“By increasing the charges for additional rubbish bags we would further enforce this message,” says Mr Christian.

The proposed changes went through a consultation phase, which closed in July, and are due to take effect on 1 September. This is subject to their adoption at the full council meeting on Thursday 26 August. The increased charges will help finance the redevelopment of the refuse transfer station.

The redevelopment is being partly funded by a targeted rate for Waiheke Island ratepayers over a ten-year period to recover 40 per cent of the upgrade costs.

The Works Committee has recommended that the remaining 60 per cent of costs will be funded by the increased cost of additional rubbish bags and incremental increases in the gate charges at the refuse transfer station.

ENDS

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