Incorrect dates given on Auckland Council's new inorganic collection sent to homes

By Ophelia Buckleton

Flyers were delivered which had the wrong dates for the Auckland Council's inorganic collection. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Flyers were delivered which had the wrong dates for the Auckland Council's inorganic collection. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Flyers were delivered to almost 2000 properties which included the wrong dates for the Auckland Council's new inorganic collection.

An extra service is being put on by the council after the mistake.

Auckland residents in the Albert-Eden board were left confused and took to social media to complain.

Simon Bunn said that he received a flyer in his letterbox from Waste Management, contracted by the council, earlier this month with the wrong dates for collections in the area.

The company advised people in the flyer to book for their collections by August 9, when the online booking tool actually closed on July 27.

It then sent letters to households stating, "Please disregard this collection advice as the collection in your area has already been completed for this year".

Some residents who had managed to book, before the cut-off date, were left confused by the follow-up letter as the collection had not happened.

Bunn said that the error was "totally unacceptable" and that he had to call the council to find out what was going on.

In an email to concerned residents - posted to social media by some councillors - council senior waste advisor Lesley Hume said the letter was "misleading" to customers who had already booked their collection before the booking tool closed and these would still take place from August 8.

Hume said in her email that residents in the area had received a flyer with the correct dates in July, prior to the incorrect one.

The collections took place in August, as planned.

Hume's email said customers who were unable to book, could phone the council's contact centre and request a late booking.

Dr Cathy Casey, a councillor for the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward and resident in the area, said she did not receive the flyer.

"The first I knew was when I started getting emails and telephone calls from Mt Albert residents asking what on earth was going on.

"I went online to check for myself and found that indeed, it said I had missed my inorganic collection."

Dr Casey said the misinformation left people feeling very confused.

The council's general manager of waste solutions, Ian Stupple, told the Herald that once they were "made aware of the issue", customers who contacted the council were assured that their pre-booked collection would take place.

"And any others who wanted to make a booking for a collection were able to do so."

Bookings made as a result of the issue have been honoured by the council and will be completed over a six-week period, put on especially for those who missed out.

When asked how much the extra service would cost, the council said it was unable to provide the figure "as we cannot isolate the individual collections specifically related to this issue".

The new inorganic rubbish collection service was introduced late last year as part of the council's waste management and minimisation plan.

Under the new system, residents get flyers in their letterboxes to notify them when the annual collection time is approaching.

The major change is that people are now required to go online to see when collections are occurring in their area and make a booking for items to be picked up from their property, as opposed to the kerbside.

If residents miss the collections in their area, they will have to wait until the following year or take it to a collection centre.

- NZ Herald

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