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Seniors handle 9.8 gradient

21 February 2005

Seniors handle 9.8 gradient

Albert Struthers (73) of Glendene manoeuvres the 140 litre bin with ease.

“Senior trials” of Waitakere City’s new recycling bins show that the bins are a lot lighter and easier to manoeuvre than some residents have feared.

Waitakere-based members of Greypower New Zealand agreed to test the bins on one of the city’s steepest slopes – a 70 metre long driveway on the Scenic Drive with a gradient of 9.8 degrees.

Don Chapman of Swanson said he did not find going downhill with the bin at all difficult. He says he would probably tow it back up a 9.8 slope.

Mr Chapman is currently National Vice-President of Grey Power New Zealand and a former city councillor. The recipient of a quadruple by-pass operation, he and wife Natalie work hard to keep fit

“I saw these bins in Australia in the early 80s and they are standard practice in Canada. This is an innovation. Anything that will reduce costs to ratepayers is a good thing. The average person doesn’t appreciate how much rubbish a city generates,” he says.

“We used to have glass bottles, now we have plastic bottles. They should be banned. We have industry dictating the terms,” says Mr Chapman.

All four Greypower members who tried the bin on the slope were surprised by the lightness of the new 140 litre bin, due to be delivered to Waitakere residents in July.

“It’s a lot better than carrying one of those crates downhill,” says triple by-pass recipient Albert Struthers (73)

“Most of our members live on flatter areas than this. For the older person, this bin is easy to handle,” he says.

The Scenic Drive test site is in one of the city’s steepest areas, with a higher gradient than Waikumete Hill. The test bin contained the equivalent of two weeks’ recycling.

Councillor Janet Clews says that “wheelie bins” have been used in Auckland City for many years without difficulty.

“Obviously, there are differences in the geography of the two cities, but many parts of Auckland, such as Parnell, Remuera, St Mary’s Bay have steep and winding roads without verges and also have problems with high speed traffic.

“Areas such as Balclutha, Timaru and Hawera, have similar circumstances to the more rural parts of the city, and have used wheelie bins successfully for many years.”


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