Western Bay of Plenty residents have one more day to have their say on the Western Bay of Plenty District Council's proposed waste disposal system as the community consultation window closing tomorrow.While the proposal has been applauded by environmentalists, private rubbish operators say it would not increase the amount of recyclable material saved from being dumped in landfill.
The partly-rates, partly-user funded system would see separate containers distributed for recycling, glass and general waste for both rural and urban households by 2021.
A food scraps service is also proposed for households classified as urban, including Te Puke, Paengaroa, Maketu, Omokoroa, Pukehina, Katikati and Waihi.
Currently, households either use a private company or deal with waste themselves through pre-paid bags.
It followed the council's goal to reduce the volume of waste material diverted from landfill by 80 per cent by 2022.
Currently, about 70 per cent of household waste dumped in landfill could be diverted or recycled, according to the council.
John Cruickshank of Kleana Bins had made submissions to the council and said the proposal wouldn't increase the amount of recycling diverted from landfill while removing the consumer's ability to tailor their rubbish removal system to their needs.
He supported a food waste collection but was unsure the proposed recycling or general rubbish collection system would have the intended impact.
The proposal meant residents would be dished out with the same sized bin and it was likely residents with extra space in their bin would fill it with recycling, he said.
"One size fits all just doesn't work."
Aside from that, the system would result in "a different company picking up the same rubbish," he said.
Cruickshank said resident surveys indicated an overwhelming majority of people were satisfied with the current system, he said.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
If the proposed system went ahead, Cruickshank believed rural customers would suffer as those collections would not be financially viable if the business lost its urban customers.
Western Bay of Plenty District Mayor Garry Webber said the main aim of the proposed system was to minimise the amount of recyclable waste that ended up in landfill by diverting these goods elsewhere.
"We've got to look after the environment far better than we have in the past."
While the council was looking into a user-pays system, council-organised system, it was not looking at a complete takeover.
"None of our proposals see council going and buying a whole ton of rubbish trucks and going into business on our own."
Webber did not believe the proposed system would put waste disposal companies out of business.
Instead, the proposed system would see providers "incentivised" to improve their service and do their bit in ensuring waste was properly diverted, he said.
A council spokesman said it would iron out details in the proposal once community feedback was collected.
"Nothing is set in stone yet," he said.
It was unlikely residents would fill up their general waste bin with recyclable material scraps under the proposed pay-per-pick up system as they would aim to utilise their other bins as cost-efficiently as possible, he said.
Accommodating rural customers not included in the service would be explored during the tender process, he said.
Marty Hoffard, zero waste advocate and director of Tauranga company Waste Watchers called the initiative a "great move" which would see residents save money.
He said burying food in landfill could be more damaging to the environment than plastic or glass as it produced climate-warming methane gas.