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New landfill charges take effect tomorrow

31 August 2004

New landfill charges take effect tomorrow

Charges at both city landfills go up tomorrow (1 September) and for the first time all vehicles will be weighed on the way in – and out – of the Southern Landfill to determine the amount to be paid.

The new charges reflect the real long-term cost of burying rubbish in landfills and are designed to encourage people to reuse and recycle more.

Under the Southern Landfill’s new weigh and pay system all users will pay $101 per tonne of rubbish dumped, regardless of what kind of vehicle or trailer they transport the rubbish in. The per-tonne charge will be cheaper if they only have green waste – $67 a tonne – and more if their load includes tyres – $301.50 a tonne. The minimum charge for general waste is $6 and $4 for green waste only.

The existing user-pay system at the Southern Landfill is based on the type of vehicle the rubbish is transported in and in which part of the vehicle the rubbish is placed.

City Council Landfills Manager Brian Bouzaid says staff have been flexible and used their discretion to ensure landfill users are charged as fairly as possible but the new system will make their job much easier and ensure people only pay for exactly what they dump.

He says landfill users can keep costs of dumping down by making more use of the city’s free recycling services.

“There is no limit on the amount people can put out for the kerbside recycling collections,” Mr Bouzaid says. “The Second Treasure shop at the Southern Landfill takes good reusable items and there are also free recycling depots at both city landfills that people can use before they drop the remainder of their rubbish off.”

The new charging system is part of a push to encourage people to reuse and recycle more for the sake of the environment and to extend the life of the landfill as long as possible. Similar weigh and pay systems are used in Waitakere City in Auckland, and Christchurch.

“People who only have a couple of bags may well pay slightly less than they do at the moment,” Mr Bouzaid says. “If they don’t choose to separate their rubbish and it weighs a tonne – they will pay accordingly. Obviously some materials are heavier than others and there will be instances where people will be paying considerably more than they have in the past for a car or trailer full of rubbish.”

Landfill users will get a docket at the weighbridge that they will have to retain and present as they leave. Standard charges will apply for lost dockets - $25 for a car, $35 for a van or utility and $45 for a trailer.

The latest initiative and wider goals are part of the Solid Waste Management Plan approved by City Councillors last year. They were outlined in this year’s Annual Plan and details were approved at a meeting of the Council’s City Infrastructure Committee in early August.

The new per-tonne charges include a $2 education levy, $1.50 waste minimisation levy and a $23 levy that will fund the city’s kerbside recycling service. Kerbside recycling costs about $1.5 million a year and has previously been funded through rates.

At the Northern Landfill – which will close on June 30 next year – the current charging regime will continue but prices there will go up from September 1 to reflect the new levies and the real long-term cost of burying rubbish in landfills.

Commercial users will continue to be charged by weight at the new rates while residential users will continue to pay according to vehicle type and where in the vehicle the rubbish is stored.

The charge for a car with rubbish in the boot only will be $10.80, up from $7.50. The charge for vans, utilities, a small trailer load of rubbish or a car with rubbish in the boot and other places will be $22, up from $15.50. Large household trailers will cost $29.30, up from $20.50.

ENDS

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