Auckland Council is looking to move from weekly to fortnightly general rubbish collections, starting in 2026.
The plan is contained in a draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan which contains targets to reduce the amount of household rubbish put out in bins.
The goal is to reduce kerbside rubbish from a 2022 baseline of 141kg to 120kg per capita by 2028 and to 100kg by 2030, helped along by the recent general rollout of food scrap bins expected to reduce up to 41 per cent of bin contents by weight.
The council currently collects recyclable bins once a fortnight.
Manurewa-Papakura Ward Councillor Daniel Newman said this is one of the most inconvenient and unproven changes that council officers have ever proposed, and would be deeply unpopular with many Aucklanders.
“While it might be the case that not every household needs the rubbish collected every week, that is a choice that Auckland households rather than politicians and Auckland Council staff should make.
“It is absolutely the case that hundreds of thousands of Auckland households put their rubbish bins on the kerbside every week because they need that service. Ratepayers expect that this weekly service should remain, and the food scraps collection would be in addition to rather than instead of a weekly rubbish collection,” said Newman.
He said the plan continues a long-held preoccupation from some people to move from the current weekly to a new fortnightly kerbside rubbish collection service and those who need choice and convenience as much as possible.
“I am in the latter group and I hope Aucklanders will share that approach.”
Newman urged Aucklanders to “get organised and prepare submissions” in response to the proposal if they wanted to protect weekly collection services.
Council general manager for waste solutions Parul Sood said the proposal to move to fortnightly rubbish collections “reflects our aspiration for Auckland to become a zero-waste city by 2040″.
“It is proposed in the draft plan that will go for public consultation early next year. No decisions have been made.
“Fortnightly rubbish collections are common overseas and have been introduced successfully in other cities and towns in New Zealand.”
Sood said with the introduction of the food scraps collection service, which would remain a weekly collection, Council was “already seeing a reduction in the weight of kerbside rubbish bins”.
“A small in-depth trial conducted last year with large households using all three bins (food scraps, recycling and rubbish) demonstrated that the move to fortnightly collections would suit the capacity requirements of most households in Auckland.
“We are working on providing households who might have excess recycling and waste with more options for reducing and disposing of waste by expanding our resource recovery network of community recycling centres.”
It comes as Auckland Council wrestles with a budget hole, with ratepayers now facing service cuts, asset sales and big rates increases as officials try to balance the books.
The council has already sold down part of its share parcel in Auckland Airport and Mayor Wayne Brown has also floated selling a long-term lease to Port of Auckland and putting the proceeds into a new $3 billion-to-$4b investment fund.
Bernard Orsman is an Auckland-based reporter who has been covering local government and transport since 1998. He joined the Herald in 1990 and worked in the parliamentary press gallery for six years.