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Council “too successful” with solid waste

14 December 2006

Council “too successful” with solid waste

Increased charges for mixed waste and charging for green waste are a direct result of high volumes of out-of-district green waste coming into the Council’s landfill, Kapiti Coast District Council’s Group Manager, Community Assets & Services, Rob Williams said today.

“What it boils down to is that we’ve been too successful. Our free green waste programme has encouraged contractors from outside the district to bring waste here and our lower mixed waste charges have also resulted in increased demand for landfill space.

“We have to pay for greenwaste processing into compost and because we’re not recovering our costs we’re bringing our charges into line with the rest of the region. This will reduce out-of-district waste.

“In the meantime we’ll continue exploring the most effective and affordable approaches to achieve kerbside recycling. A decision on that should be in place by March 2007.”

The Council is part way through a major review of solid waste, Mr Williams said. The waste collection contract had already been reviewed and renewed.

“The result is that, effective immediately, we’re increasing the price for collection of waste with the Council collection bags going from $1.20 to $1.90 per bag (recommended retail price).

“At the same time we’re reintroducing a charge for green waste which is based on 55% of the mixed waste charges. That means the charge for a car or station wagon load of green waste will be $4.00, the price for a light trailer will be $9.00 and for a large trailer it will be $14.00. All other vehicles, including compactor trucks, will be charged $40 per tonne.”

The paper collection bags will also be phased out and plastic bags introduced. The plastic bags are considerably cheaper and there is an option for biodegradable plastic bags.

The community indicated a desire for kerbside recycling and work is being done to achieve that in this financial year. “Clearly, however, it must be affordable.

“And the level of affordability is linked to the overall bag price because ultimately the returns from the bags will fund the kerbside recycling process. In common with most other Councils, Kapiti’s waste management is paid for by user charges, we do not fund it from rates.”
In the near future the Otaihanga landfill will reach its capacity and will have to be closed. Kapiti Coast’s waste will then need to go to another landfill outside the district. There are no opportunities locally for another landfill site.

“To prepare for this we are developing an approach for a potential central waste transfer/ recovery facility at Otaihanga. We have a heads of agreement with Midwest Disposal who operate the Horowhenua District Council’s landfill at Hokio Beach to explore an Otaihanga transfer/ recovery facility and to take some of our solid waste to the Hokio Beach site.”

Kapiti Coast District Council’s charges are still significantly below others in the region. The current $65 a tonne compares to neighbouring district charges of between $70 and $80 per tonne. This price differential is sufficient to attract considerable out of district waste.

A weighbridge will be installed at Otaihanga by the end of January and weight based charging on a per tonne basis of $75 will apply for all mixed waste.

“With increasing volumes of green waste and increasing costs of recycling, e.g., glass recycling is costing $25/tonne more this year than last, we are raising the cost of our rubbish bags to bring them into line with the charges in the rest of region,” Rob Williams said.

ENDS

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