Tauranga City Council is offering a new optional green waste service to residents this year.
From July, households will be able to choose between four-weekly collections at $60 for the 2021/22 year, or fortnightly collections at $95 for the 2021/22 year.
The cost of each collection works out to less than $5.
The cost of the service will be added to the household's rates bill.
This is in addition to the new rates charge of $230 to cover the cost of the new council rubbish, recycling and food scraps collections that also begin in July. That price includes the current annual charge of the glass recycling service of $37.34.
In October last year, senior staff at the council admitted it could have done a better job of communicating changes to the kerbside rubbish and recycling system after experiencing a wave of negative feedback, alongside some praise.
The optional garden waste kerbside collection uses a 240L wheelie bin and is available for residential households only and will be collected on each household's existing collection day either fortnightly or four-weekly.
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The service is available to ratepayers only and people will need to sign up for it before May 15 in order to receive the service from July 1.
Acting manager of the sustainability and waste team Sam Fellows told the Bay of Plenty Times the council was not initially planning to introduce a garden waste collection service.
"Other councils across New Zealand either provide no garden waste or have garden waste as compulsory. We decided to give our residents an opportunity to choose what works best for them because we could get it as such an affordable rate when combined with the other services," he said.
"By offering this service on top of the other services helps us with our mission to make waste and recycling more convenient and cost-effective."
While Fellows described the service as convenient and "great value", he admitted the only term households can sign up for is one-year.
People would need to contact the council if they want to cancel the service after one year.
"We will communicate with customers close to the year-end to ensure they cancel their service if it is not working for them. The bin will stay with the property along with the rest of the bins and any new owner can decide if they wish to keep it or not," he said.
The green waste collection is the only opt-in service charged through rates.
Fellows said charging through rates was the most efficient way for the council to collect payment. It was chosen as it prevented the cost of developing a separate billing system "which would have made the service more expensive".
Fellows said the council wanted to encourage households that did not normally separate their garden waste from regular rubbish to consider the service.
"Doing so will mean they are actively taking part in helping our city reduce the amount of household waste we sent to landfill."
Fellows said those people who already took green waste to the local transfer stations could also save on time and petrol by taking up the service.
The council expected the complete suite of new council-led kerbside collections to halve the amount of waste the average household sends to landfill by 2028, he said.
Nearly 70 per cent of Tauranga's household waste that ends up in landfill could be recycled or composted instead, with 16 per cent being garden waste alone. The garden waste collected will be processed locally into compost and sold to agricultural, horticultural and landscape industries along with other markets throughout New Zealand.
Tenants who would like to have the garden waste service at their household can ask their
landlord or property manager (with permission of the ratepayer) to arrange the service for
Households in retirement villages and apartment complexes who are interested in the new
garden waste kerbside collections should ask their village manager or body corporate
representative to contact the council to set these up on their behalf.
Households who would like the service but will require assistance taking their bins to and from the kerbside for collection due to a physical disability or ailment, will be able to apply for the council's free assisted service closer to the start of the service in July.
If a household signs up for the new optional garden waste collection before February 28, the garden waste bin will be delivered at the same time as the new rubbish, recycling and food scraps bins are delivered.
More detail on delivery timeframes for the new bins are expected to be available during the next few months.
Information sessions on the new service will be held at:
Greerton Hall on February 15 from 3pm to 6pm
Bethlehem Hall on February 16 from 3pm to 6pm
Welcome Bay Hall on February 17 from 3pm to 6pm
The Little Big Markets (Pāpāmoa) on February 20 from 9am to 2pm
Club Mount Maunganui on February 22 from 3pm to 7pm
Arataki Community Centre on February 23 from 3pm to 6pm
Otumoetai Golf Club on February25 from 3pm to 6pm
Papamoa Community Hall on March 2 from 3pm to 7pm
The Little Big Markets (Mount Maunganui) on March 6 from 9am to 2pm