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Weight Based Charging at Ruapehu Landfill From 1st May

Weight Based Charging at Ruapehu Landfill From 1st May

From 1st May all refuse being disposed of at the Ruapehu district landfill in Taumarunui will be charged based on weight (per kilogram) instead of volume (per cubic metre).

Ruapehu District Council Waste Minimisation Officer, Steve Carson, said that the shift to weight based charging at the landfill has been a long time coming.

“Since the installation of the weighbridge Council has been running the old volume and new weight based system in parallel to help set the correct pricing for the weighbridge,” he said.

“Before swapping over it was essential that Council got enough comparison data to ensure an accurate conversion from the old visual survey measurement method to the new per kilogram method.”

“The aim has been for costs on average to be the same; however, for some things at the extreme heavy/dense end, or the very lightweight end, people may end up paying more or less.”

Mr Carson said that the change to weight based charging where everything going to landfill is weighed will significantly improve the accuracy of the data Council captures about what’s coming into the transfer station and landfill.

“Having accurate data on the composition and quantities of our different waste streams is critical to being able to make good decisions about how to manage the district’s waste minimisation efforts and costs.”

Mr Carson added that another area the new weighbridge will make a significant difference is in decreasing compliance costs.

“All councils pay the Ministry for Environment (MFE) a levy of $10.00 per tonne for waste disposed of into landfill and from January 2013 have been paying a per tonne charge under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).”

“Currently the $10.00 per tonne landfill charge data is captured manually at each transfer station where we measure the waste per cubic metre and then calculate this into a tonnage rate.”

“Without a weighbridge the volume of refuse going into the landfill has been measured by surveying the change in the size of the compacted tip area which has been far from ideal.”

“The weighbridge will allow an accurate measurement for both the MFE and ETS data and the associated charges payable by Council.”

Mr Carson noted that the resource consent for the Taumarunui landfill expires in 2020 and as an unlined site there is no way in which its consent will be extended.

“At the current rate of use it is anticipated that the landfill will close sometime in 2019,” he said.

“When the landfill closes all of Ruapehu’s refuse will need to be trucked out of the district and we will need to pay another facility to take it.”

“This unavoidable scenario will mean refuse costs will only get a lot more expensive and is another reason why Council invested in the weighbridge.”

Mr Carson said that from 2012 to 2013 the gross tonnage of material going to the transfer station and landfill increased almost 12% to 7,545 tonnes but the volume of material that was being diverted from the landfill into recycling and reuse increased 22% (675 tonnes) to 3,771 tonnes.

“In short Ruapehu communities are throwing more out but the relative percentage of that material that is being reused or recycled has gone up even more,” he said.

“Although the statistics demonstrate that Ruapehu district is making good inroads into reducing our waste footprint we all need to do a lot more.”

“Council’s 2012 waste audit where over 200 rubbish bags from around Ruapehu were opened and the contents recorded to better understand what people were throwing away showed that compostable material made up an average of 51% of the contents of the rubbish bags.”

Mr Carson said that this shows that if every household started composting we have to the potential to halve the amount of residential refuse going to landfill almost overnight.

“Although Ruapehu has been making steady progress in increasing the amount of material being recycled or reused we all individually need to do more if we want to contain our solid waste costs within manageable levels.”

“Anyone wanting further information on the new weighbridge charging regime including fees and charges, waste minimisation ideas, or any of Council’s solid waste services can contact me via their local Council office or seewww.ruapehudc.govt.nz


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