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Renwick Was All Set For Kerbside Recycling – Then Coronavirus Happened

Rolling out kerbside recycling to Renwick would increase the collection bill for Picton and Blenheim residents. CREDIT: CHLOE RANFORD/LDR

Kerbside collection in a rural Marlborough town could still happen this year after a flood of annual plan submissions.

Close to 130 people and organisations submitted on the Marlborough District Council's annual plan by the deadline earlier this month, asking for upwards of $2 million in ratepayer funding between them.

But councillors said last month they wanted to keep this year's rates increase to below 2.2 per cent to "boost" the region's economy, and were prepared to shelve funding for new projects, including plans to roll out kerbside rubbish collection in Renwick.

The project was approved in February for $73,800 a year, but was last month considered for a year's deferment to reduce the rates increase. The idea still went out for public feedback in this year's annual plan, and saw 27 submissions in support of kerbside collection in Renwick and eight against.

Kerbside collection was suggested for the town after the council removed an old shipping container, used to collect the town's recycling, off Foxes Island Rd due to "illegal dumping, littering" and the effects this had on a nearby wine estate.

Submitters both for and against kerbside recycling were "disappointed" or "offended" by the removal of the container, as it forced them to take a 28-kilometre return trip to use Blenheim's Resource Recovery Centre.

Kerbside recycling currently cost $46 per house a year for Blenheim and Picton, but would jump to $54 a year if Renwick was included.

A Nelson Marlborough District Health Board spokeswoman said it supported the Renwick roll-out, but wanted the new deferred start date of July 1, 2021 to be brought forward, as the town had no recycling alternatives.

Two submitters said while they supported the idea, they would prefer the council to roll out wheelie bins, not "open lid" collection crates.

Those against the proposal preferred the old system, thought the increase hurt those on fixed incomes, or feared recycling would be blown from collection bins in high winds and litter the streets.

Council solid waste manager Alec McNeil said Marlborough saw very few windy days a year, and collectors were required to bag runaways.

"[The recycling crate] does hold a reasonable volume, and provided you pack it appropriately and you're not putting it in gale-force winds, you're not going to get it turned over on its back," he said.

He said plans to defer the roll-out until next year were not set in stone, as it was up to councillors, who considered the submissions.

"At this time it's probably not appropriate to level new costs on the community, and that's not just to Renwick, but to others as well."

A council spokesman said all submissions would be considered by the council after the annual plan hearings, and decision outcomes could not be predicted until after the annual plan process was complete.

The council would hear submissions on the annual plan from June 2 to 4, and consider all submissions on June 8. It was still unsure if it would hold hearings in person or online due to the lockdown.

WHAT ELSE DO PEOPLE WANT?

• Marlborough Disc Golf wants $35,000 for an 18-hole disc golf course

• Havelock Museum wants the council to buy a neighbouring "eyesore" property so it and the Havelock Menzshed can expand

• Marlborough Landscape Group want $50,000 so it can start work to set up a new "regional park" at the Wairau River

• Havelock Community Association wants bus shelters in Havelock

• Linkwater Settlers and Hall Committee wants $450,000 for their hall

• Waikawa Ratepayers and Residents Association want $10,000 so contractors can keep wiping out wattles trees next financial year

• Alzheimers Marlborough wants permission to extend the western boundary of its Wither Rd offices into the neighbouring property

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