A rates-funded, council-run kerbside glass recycling service could be introduced in Tauranga by August.

This afternoon Tauranga City Council voted unanimously to seek community feedback on a plan to take over the city's glass collection service.

The council will step in to fill the service gap left by Waste Management's decision to stop accepting glass in kerbside recycling bins as of March 1.

The commercial sector move forced residents to take their glass to newly-established community bottle banks, to council recycling stations, or bin them.


The council moved to act after being inundated with complaints over the past week and a half.

Read more: Where can you take your glass recycling in Tauranga

The solution proposed by council staff was to supply each home with a 45l crate for glass that would be collected and colour-sorted at the truck each fortnight by a contracted company.

Cost estimates for the service ranged from $22 to $26 per household per year.

The final price will depend on what sort of deal the council can negotiate with private contractors.

That price may eventually come down if the council takes over all of the city's kerbside waste collections in 2020-21 - a plan approved last year.

It will consult with the community on that proposal, as well as the stopgap glass solution, over the next few months.

The council's decision has not deterred Mount Maunganui's Annie Lawler, who has recently started a private glass collection business.

The former teacher has set up Class Glass, a service offering one-off driveway glass recycling pick-ups for $3 per colour-sorted box.

"I think it's great that the council is taking responsibility. But what will people do until they get something up and running? My service is available now."

She has also applied for a licence to do kerbside collections.

Steve Morris, chairman of the council's environment committee, said recycling was a core service and the community expected the council to take care of it.

"We need to back our community and back our environment and get on with it."

The council's stopgap glass plan

• Every house gets a 45L crate
• Collected kerbside fortnightly
• Collectors will colour-sort glass
• Estimated cost per household of $22-$26
• Introduced by August/September
Source: Tauranga City Council

Will Western Bay follow suit?

Western Bay mayor Garry Webber said there may be some appetite from his council to work with Tauranga on a rates-funded glass collection service.

However, his council was in the middle of a large-scale review of its rubbish and recycling kerbside collection services - currently in the hands of the private sector - that he believed should be completed before any decision was made on glass collection.

Webber said the council wanted to hear from its community about how they wanted waste collection services to work.