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Council Asked To Approve A Food Scraps And Greenwaste Kerbside Collection Service

Queenstown Lakes District Councillors are being asked to approve funding to implement a future kerbside organics collection service and processing solution at the full Council meeting on 15 February 2024.

The introduction of an organics collection service will be a core part of Council’s response to reduce organic material in kerbside refuse bins. Analysis indicates that over 50% of material in Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) kerbside refuse bins is made up of food scraps and greenwaste.

The proposed new service would respond to feedback from the community and Central Government strategy and policy direction issued in 2023. That direction requires councils to implement a kerbside collection for food scraps to urban areas with populations greater than 1,000 before January 2030.

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) General Manager Property and Infrastructure Tony Avery said that QLDC committed to introducing an organic waste kerbside collection service and processing in its 2018 Waste Minimisation and Management Plan (WMMP).

“The business case to be presented to Council this week followed a rigorous process looking at a wide range of organic collection service and processing facility options.”

“The preferred option in the business case is to implement a weekly combined food scraps and greenwaste (FOGO) 80 litre kerbside collection service for eligible properties; with the collected material transported to the organic waste processing facility being developed by CODC.”

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“Implementing the new service will extend the life and capacity of the Victoria Flats landfill and means we can all contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly those who can’t easily compost at home,” Mr Avery said.

The preferred option is aligned with the strategic goals and objectives in QLDC’s WMMP, Climate and Biodiversity Plan (CBP) and Te rautaki para NZ Waste Strategy and will result in a reduction in emissions generated from organic waste decomposition in landfill.

The introduction of the service is expected to reduce household waste to landfill, reduce carbon emissions from the landfilling of organic waste, improve soil quality through the application of compost applied to land, while reducing or avoiding refuse disposal costs, waste levy and Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) costs.

If funding is approved, the kerbside organics collection service could commence once a Central Otago District Council regional facility is operational, currently anticipated in 2026-2027. This would mean Council would meet proposed government mandate for food scrap collection by 2030 and performance standards for kerbside waste diversion, as well as fulfilling its commitments in the WMMP and CBP. Alongside the proposed new service, Council would continue to support complementary action including food waste initiatives such as Love Food Hate Waste, Kiwi Harvest food rescue, and home and community composting programmes.

The operating expenditure is proposed to be funded through a targeted rate on eligible properties and is expected to be in the order of $83 per household per annum (including GST).

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