More than 500 glass recycling bins were rejected across Tauranga in the first fortnight of Tauranga City Council's new kerbside pickup service.

That was about 1.6 per cent of the 31,685 blue crates collected, according to statistics provided by the council.

In total, 142.12 tonnes of bottles and jars were collected in those first two weeks, eventually destined for O-I New Zealand in Auckland, where it will be melted down and made anew into more bottles and jars.

The council figures also revealed that just under 20,000 Tauranga households missed or skipped their first fortnightly collection, a service for which they have already been charged $26 in their rates for the next year.


"I use my crate for a cat bed," said one person in the Bay of Plenty Times office.

The most rejections happened on the first day of the service when 117 people in Mount Maunganui come home to an unemptied crate and a yellow sticker.

Some complained there should have been a grace period or warning first, but others felt the rules were clear enough and there for workers' safety.

By their second collection on Monday this week, most of the seaside suburb had largely learned the lesson, with the rejection rate dropping from 4.2 per cent to just 0.6 per cent.

"These stats show that more people used their crate the second collection and used it correctly," said a council spokeswoman.

"So the residents really did take on board the feedback that was provided."

An overfilled bin was the most common reason for rejection. Photo/George Novak
An overfilled bin was the most common reason for rejection. Photo/George Novak

The most frequently broken rule across the city was that the bin could not be filled above the top edge of the bin, catching 341 people out.

The council will have no shortage of feedback on the new service to sift through, receiving some 526 calls to its contact centre - most within the first two days - and another 577 comments on Facebook in the first fortnight.

Deputy mayor Kelvin Clout said he had noticed a bit of confusion around the pickup dates in his neighbourhood, which was on the week two cycle.

That, and other teething issues would soon be ironed out, he said.

Less than impressed

Bethlehem's Kempton Park Village wants to opt out of the council's glass collection service, saying it had upped its costs by 450 per cent.

Manager Graham Staite told a Tauranga City Council meeting that the 54-unit retirement village had been charged $26 a unit, a total of $1404 a year.

Its old, contracted service - three 240L bins emptied 26 times a year - cost $313.

"The council has forced this change on us unnecessarily. I wish they would give us the option to opt out," he said.

Infrastructure manager Christine Jones said rates-funded services had to be applied equally among ratepayers.

She said council staff would revisit multi-unit dwellings that were not happy with the service and look at how it could be modified.