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Loss of Wanaka Recycling Collection and Processing Contract

Loss of Wanaka Kerb-Side Recycling Collection and Processing Contract

Wanaka Wastebusters has just been advised by the QLDC that our bid for the renewal of the contract for kerb-side recycling waste collection and processing in the Upper Clutha, was unsuccessful.

The contract is being awarded to a Queenstown based firm that will cart Wanaka’s recycling over to Queenstown to be processed at the Queenstown based processing centre. The new contract will take effect in March 2012.

We were shocked to learn that the successful firm’s bid was half of Wanaka Wastebuster’s bid, especially as the successful firm is a business looking to make a profit for its shareholders, whereas Wanaka Wastebusters is a not-for-profit community owned organisation.

We have provided the kerb-side collection and processing service in our region for some seven years and have a good understanding of the volume and cost of the work involved. Our bid for the new contract was at a substantially lower price than our current contract price. We cannot understand how the service can be provided on a profitable basis from Queenstown, at the very low price of the successful bid. It will be interesting to see if the QLDC actually realises the savings that are anticipated from the award of the new contract.

The loss of this contract will have a serious impact on Wanaka Wastebusters as the contract contributes some 50% of our organisation’s annual revenue. Staff reductions will unfortunately be required to match the revenue loss, and all our remaining operations will come under scrutiny as part of an effort to reduce our operating costs and endeavour to maintain the organisation viable.

Over recent years Wanaka Wastebusters has input a $1 million payroll into the Wanaka community annually, but this will now be significantly reduced.

Wanaka Wastebusters was established by the Wanaka community in the face of opposition from the QLDC at the time, and has functioned as a successful not-for-profit community organisation for over ten years. It has “punched above its weight” achieving national recognition as a leading community waste business, and has enjoyed wonderful support from the Wanaka community.

"Ironically, Wanaka Wastebusters is profiled on TV One's consumer show, Fair Go, tonight where it is positioned as a national example of an innovative and responsible approach to recycling in the community."

Ross McRobie
Wanaka Wastebusters

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