Tauranga residents will be charged a new targeted rate for the introduction of kerbside waste collections for all households next year.
The new service, which will initially cost $230 including GST for the first year, will run from July 1, 2021 and will be charged through a new targeted rate which includes the existing charge of $37 a year for glass recycling.
This means weekly food scraps and fortnightly rubbish and recycling collections will be added to existing glass recycling collections.
In a press release issued by Tauranga City Council, it said it believed the new charge would replace the costs the vast majority of households currently paid for kerbside collections.
Households can also choose whether to opt into a rates-funded monthly garden waste service for an additional $60 including GST for the first year.
"Almost 70 per cent of Tauranga's household waste sent to landfill could be recycled or composted instead. The service is expected to halve the amount of waste each household sends to landfill by 2028," the press statement said.
Mayor Tenby Powell said a rates-funded system would make reducing waste easier, more accessible and more affordable for the community as a whole.
"Other councils that have introduced similar services have seen a large reduction in household waste going to landfill and we expect a similar result in Tauranga."
The council acknowledged the collection service would be a big change for the city.
"We know that some companies currently operating kerbside waste collections will be adversely affected by this decision, and that's a matter of regret in these difficult times," Powell said.
"However, this is one of those occasions where we have to make a difficult decision to get the best outcome for our community and the environment."
The decision to introduce the kerbside waste collections follows a successful procurement process which means the majority of households will see their current waste disposal costs reduced while receiving a more comprehensive service.
The annual cost for the new service is the same as using one and a half rubbish bags a week, and significantly less than the $515 a year the average household that only uses private kerbside rubbish and recycling collections pays, according to market research.
The council statement said the majority of community feedback received through the Long-term Plan 2018-28 was in favour of introducing a rates-funded service.
The new service aligns with the council's waste management and minimisation plan and supports a circular economy.
The council also believed the collections would result in fewer trucks on residential streets, fewer trips to the transfer station and would help mitigate the impact of rising landfill costs.
The council's rubbish bag collection will stop when the new service begins, however, the transfer stations will continue to operate.
General manager of infrastructure Nic Johansson said he listened to the community and learned a "one-size-fits-all" service wasn't preferred and an incentive for households to reduce their overall waste was strongly desired.
"That's why we've landed on having different size bins for rubbish and recycling. However, we've learnt from other councils that it's best to keep the roll-out as simple as possible, so we've opted to use a standard bin size and cost for rubbish and recycling for the first year.
"Then, once the community has got used to the new service, we can start incentivising households to reduce their waste through the choice of smaller or cheaper bins for rubbish and recycling."
The council is partnering with EnviroWaste to provide the kerbside collections.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council also partnering with EnviroWaste to introduce kerbside waste collections, but with a "pay-as-you-throw" rubbish collection service rather than a rates-funded service.
The district council's decision to provide a pay-as-you-throw rubbish service resulted from community consultation that showed this was the preferred option.
How will it work?
For the first year, all households will be provided with a 140L rubbish bin, a 240L recycling bin and a 23L food scrap bin to add to their existing 45L glass recycling crate.
Other councils with a similar service have found these sizes suit the majority of households.
After the first year of the service, ratepayers can select from different sized rubbish and recycling bins to suit their particular household needs – with reduced rates for smaller bins and increased rates for larger bins.