Tick for rubbish scheme

By Sophie Bond


For most it will mean more bins on the kerb, but the goal is less waste in landfills under Auckland Council's newly adopted Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP).

Each year, each Aucklander puts out 160kg of rubbish and, overall, households and businesses send almost 1.2 million tonnes of waste to landfill.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse says the new waste plan, which will be introduced over the next few years, aims to reduce the volume of material going to landfill and was well-supported by public submissions.

"About 80 per cent of submitters supported the target of a 30 per cent reduction in domestic kerbside waste sent to landfill by 2018."

The biggest change is to kerbside waste collections, which will be extended to user-pays across the region. Households choose the size of their wheelie bin - from 60 to 240 litres - and how often they put it out for collection. The charge is per lift, not by the weight of the bin.

The rates-funded recycling collection will be retained, with households again having a choice of bin size. Rural areas and Hauraki Gulf islands will have the option of a pre-paid waste bag.

Perhaps the biggest change is the introduction of a rates-funded, kerbside organic (food and green waste) collection.

Council official John Dragicevich says the system and method of this collection have not been noted in the plan. "Further details about the service will be confirmed in mid-2014."

He says there will be no changes to kerbside collections before 2015.

Ms Hulse says prior to any changes there will be extensive community education so people learn how to keep user charges to a minimum. "Particularly in Manukau and central Auckland, where disposer-pays for rubbish will be new but where targeted rates for rubbish collection will reduce."

With the 2010 amalgamation, Auckland Council inherited seven different waste collection systems.

Criticism of the waste plan included fears a user-pays system would lead to more illegal dumping. Ms Hulse says she's confident any increase will be limited. "Council data shows illegal dumping did not increase when the former North Shore and Waitakere councils made the change to disposer pays."

She says there will be comprehensive education, monitoring and enforcement around dumping.

For full details of the plan see:

http://tinyurl.com/councilwaste

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- THE AUCKLANDER

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