Hamilton's rubbish and recycling system will finally catch up with other main centres next year when each household will have two wheelie bins, a food bin and a crate for glass.
The system already has supporters in the eco movement – although with some reservations that more could be done.
From July 1 2020, a new kerbside rubbish and recycling contract will roll out to residents. The council awarded a 10-year kerbside rubbish and recycling contract to EnviroWaste Services. It will include some electric rubbish trucks.
The new service includes separate wheeled bins for rubbish and recycling (plastic, paper and cardboard), a smaller separate food scraps collection bin while using the existing recycling crates for glass only.
Hamilton is one of the few places in New Zealand that does not collect grade four to seven recyclables, while neighbouring Waikato District Council also runs a weekly food waste collection service.
Manager of charitable trust Go Eco, Jo Wrigley, said the collection of food scraps in particular was a big move in the right direction for the city.
"Food waste is possibly the biggest contributor to methane at landfills,"she said. "Our vision is for food waste to be composted and put back into the community, rather than a waste product. Our understanding at this stage is it is going to Hampton Downs landfill to be composted, but not locally for us to use as a community. It is absolute progress to what we have now."
Ms Wrigley said the four separate bins will be a good educational tool to show that not everything we dispose of needs to be rubbish. She said the same affect has happened with reusable shopping bags.
HCC will collect plastics types four to seven, on top of the one to three already collected.
Community Educator for Go Eco Tania Ashman said the ultimate goal would be to stop producing plastics.
"We need to put pressure on the producers contributing to the problem. The four to seven types of plastics are just going to be stored somewhere, but we will see a percentage of people now actively look to find a solution as to what we can do with those items.
"The problem with four to seven plastics is they are very low grade plastics and don't attract a lot of money, so it is expensive to collect them and then to recycle them if people are not going to a lot of money if no one wants to buy them."
HCC compliance manager Trent Fowles said the proposed changes align the solid waste bylaw with the council's waste management and minimisation plan.
" The changes we are proposing will provide guidelines to ensure waste is collected, transported and disposed of safely and in a way which maximises waste diversion," he says.
The proposed bylaw requires all multi-dwelling developments, events and construction sites to submit a site waste management and minimisation plan for approval.
"Waste doesn't just come from the home, it's produced by businesses, shops, events and construction sites."