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Kapiti Council to withdraw from kerbside rubbish collection

Council to withdraw from kerbside rubbish collection

June 7, 2013

Kapiti Coast District Council will stop providing kerbside refuse and recycling collection from 1 July 2013.

Four operators currently provide collection services in the district. Sales of pre-paid Council rubbish bags have dropped from 308,000 last financial year to an expected 130,000 this year, making the service not financially viable.

Council yesterday considered submissions on a proposed amendment to the 2012 Long Term Plan regarding a change to Solid Waste service levels. The proposal is to stop selling Council refuse bags from 1 July and to discontinue kerbside collection from 1 October 2013.

The proposal is due to be formally adopted at a Council meeting on 27 June.

People already using commercial operators are not expected to notice any difference in service, says Council’s Group Manager Infrastructure Services Sean Mallon.

“Those still using Council refuse bags will have to choose from the two commercial providers that sell their bags at supermarkets and dairies at very competitive rates.

“By continuing to collect Council bags from kerbsides until October we expect people who have stocks of bags will have plenty of time to use them,” says Mr Mallon.

All refuse collectors operate on the same days at the moment and the arrangement will continue that whichever provider picks up a person’s refuse bag or wheelie-bin is also responsible for collecting their recycling crate.

The Local Government Act requires Council to give regard to solid waste services, but does not require it to actually deliver the services.

Commercial collection operators are required to be licensed, and as the licensor, Council will have on-going involvement with those supplying the service, says Mr Mallon.

The most common concern in the seven submissions received about the amendment was that the changes may remove incentives to recycle. However, a Council report on the submission says the cost of recycling is less than disposal to landfill, and this is unlikely to change due to increased waste levy charges and carbon taxes on every tonne of waste that is landfilled.

“Any increased cost for collectors’ disposing kerbside refuse to landfill will ultimately be passed onto customers, so there is definitely incentive to continue to encourage recycling,” says Mr Mallon.

Management of solid waste services continues as a core function of Council through the Wellington Region Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, licensing of refuse collectors, provision of recycling drop-off sites, transfer stations, the Otaihanga landfill operation and waste minimisation education.

Council withdrawal from kerbside refuse and recycling collecting
FAQs

Why is Council stopping kerbside refuse collection?
There are currently four licensed refuse operators working in Kāpiti, and in recent years there has been a marked decrease in the sale of Council rubbish bags.

It is no longer financially viable for Council to provide this service, so a proposal to withdraw from it was proposed as an amendment to the 2012 Long Term Plan regarding Solid Waste service levels.

When will this happen?
If adopted at the Council meeting on 27 June 2013, Council rubbish bags will not be sold after 1 July. They will not be collected from kerbsides after 1 October 2013.
This timeframe is expected to be long enough for people who have stores of refuse bags to use them up.

Who will collect my rubbish once Council stops?
You will have to buy bags from commercial operators, who will collect your rubbish and recycling from the kerbside. Sold at supermarkets and dairies, the purchase price covers collection from your kerbside and disposal at landfill.

Refuse collectors and their contact details:
Envirowaste (Clean Green): (06) 364 6446
TPI/WasteManagement: Ph: 0-6-357 8278
Skip E Bins: 04 902 5332
Low Cost Bins: 04 298 9333

What about recycling?
It has always been the responsibility of the operator that collects your refuse to also take your recycling.

Recycling is expected to remain cheaper than disposal via a rubbish bag or wheeliebin. The cost to refuse collectors of disposal at landfills will continue to increase due to legal requirements such as waste levy charges and the Emissions Trading Scheme. Such increases would be ultimately passed onto consumers, further encouraging the use of recycling.

Will my collection day change?
Commercial operators currently collect on the same day as Council and this is unlikely to change:

Monday – Waikanae, Peka Peka and Te Horo
Tuesday – Paraparaumu Township and Paekākāriki
Wednesday – Raumati
Thursday – Paraparaumu Beach
Friday – Ōtaki and Waikanae East (over railway tracks)

What about rural residents?
There is no bag or recycling collections in rural areas and this is not expected to change.

Can Council refuse bags still be dropped at Transfer Stations for free?
Council bags will be able to be dropped off free-of-charge at the District’s transfer stations until 1 October 2013. This facility will be reviewed at that time depending on numbers.

Any other refuse bags up to 60L can be dropped-off at Ōtaki Transfer Station and Otaihanga Resource Recovery Facility for $4.00.

Council is discussing with commercial collectors the possibility of setting up no cost drop off facilities for their refuse bags at Transfer Stations.

What about wheelie-bins?
No change to service is expected.

However, from 1 July 2013 Council will not be passing on requests for service from wheelie-bin customers. Contact your collector direct with any issues such as your wheelie-bin or recycling crate has not been collected.

Who do I call if my refuse bag is not collected?
Contact your collector direct at the number provided on the refuse bags.

After 1 July 2013 Council will no longer pass on requests to refuse operators.

Who do I call if my recycling crate has not been collected?
Contact the company that provided your rubbish bag or wheelie-bin.

Where can I buy a new recycling crate after 1 July?
Contact your bag (or wheelie-bin provider?) collector. Council will no longer sell recycling crates in its service centres.

Background

Why is Council proposing to get out of refuse collection?
There are several licensed wheelie bin operators in the District. All provide recycling collection for their customers and two of them also sell and collect refuse bags.

Last financial year 308,000 Council bags were sold and this is expected to drop to around 130,000 in the year to 30 June 2013. Bag sales are not covering the cost of collection and kerbside recycling for Council refuse bag users. Council cannot continue to contract out a service that is not economically viable on a user-pays basis.

Isn’t solid waste disposal a core service Council has to provide?
The Local Government Act requires Council to give regard to solid waste services, but it does not require Council itself to deliver the services. In addition, the Waste Minimisation Act states these services can be delivered by providers other than council.

Council acknowledges it has an ongoing role to monitor and support the provision of kerbside rubbish and recycling collection. The Solid Waste Bylaw requires collectors to be licensed, and meet certain requirements, including providing kerbside recycling.

Can Council ensure prices will not rise after it stops the service?
Commercial collectors have to cover their costs when setting bag prices and wheelie-bin fees. The price is also influenced by Central Government imposed requirements, such as price increases due to the Emissions Trading Scheme and National Waste Levy.

Apart from these targeted price increases, waste disposal prices are also economy driven, just like fuel or electricity.

Council cannot influence price setting by commercial entities but, as the licensor, will have ongoing involvement with the operators.

What happens if the commercial collectors stop selling bags?
It is unlikely that commercial operators will stop selling bags because a large percentage of Kāpiti residents use bags to dispose of their rubbish.

If this did happen Council could reconsider its position regarding kerbside rubbish and recycling collection.

What happens now?
Council has considered submissions on the proposal and agreed to proceed. The decision is due to be adopted by Council on 27 June 2013, taking effect from 1 July, 2013.

ENDS

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