Residents mad as recycling piles up

By Abigail Hartevelt


Rotorua and Rerewhakaaitu residents who pay for weekly kerbside recycling are angry there has been no collection for several weeks and want to know what's happening.

At least 100 households have been putting their recycling out each week but the company they are paying to pick it up hasn't shown up.

Hamurana couple Ken and Doreen Bunn and Selwyn Heights resident Deanna MacDonald paid an annual fee of $104 to Rotorua-based 100% Recycling Solutions for weekly kerbside recycling at the end of last year. However, their recycling has not been collected.

Other Hamurana residents, who use the service, haven't had their recycling collected and a Rerewhakaaitu resident, who didn't want to be named, contacted The Daily Post to say a large number of that community use the service and she was still waiting for her recycling to be collected.

The owner of 100% Recycling Solutions, Te Waiti Takao, said he had not collected the recycling as he could not afford to get his truck repaired or replaced. He said he took full responsibility for what had happened. He planned to send a letter to his clients to apologise and give them an explanation.

The Daily Post has been unable to establish how many people have not had their recycling collected over recent weeks but Mr Takao said it would be about 100.

The Bunns took up the service in November 2011 when it was trading under another name.

Mrs Bunn said she received a letter last November to say the company which was trading as Kiwi Commodity Recycling Solutions had changed ownership and was now 100% Recycling Solutions. The Bunns paid the annual fee of $104 in November and within a few weeks their recycling was not being collected.

Mrs Bunn contacted the company and was told the truck was out of action or the driver had not turned up. Their recycling has not been collected for the past three or four weeks and several attempts to contact Mr Takao were unsuccessful.

Mrs Bunn said she just wanted to know what had happened.

"It would have been polite if they just gave us a ring and said it hadn't worked out."

As for the money they paid, Mrs Bunn said she did not think they had much chance of getting that back.

Ms MacDonald said her recycling had only been collected once this year. She paid $104 for the service under the previous owner late last year and two weeks later the company changed ownership and she had to pay another $104. She said she contacted Mr Takao who said he would refund her. Ms MacDonald gave him her bank account details but she hasn't received a refund and she can't get hold of him.

"I just feel ripped off."

Mr Takao said when he took over the business, which has about 500 clients, last year the truck was "half dead" and he could not afford the $13,000 repair bill.

It was costing him $300 a week on diesel to run the truck and some weeks he only got paid $250.

He hasn't been able to pay his two workers and is behind on the lease of the Hamiora Pl premises.

"I just can't find the money. I've got $5 in my bank account. I'm up to my eyeballs in bills and debts."

Asked why he had not contacted his clients, Mr Takao said he was under too much pressure.

"I've got too much on my mind. I don't know what to do first."

Mr Takao said he understood how his clients felt and apologised to them. He also wanted to give refunds but did not know how he would do that.

The 28-year-old said when he took over the business he didn't have the experience needed.

He said he was negotiating with another business, which he would not name, to take over. If someone wanted to lend him a truck he would be prepared to collect the recycling that had been left out free of charge. Clients could drop off their recycling in a skip at his Hamiora Pl premises.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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