The Waitakere City Council has a plan to save ratepayers in the new Super City more than $20 million by creating a region-wide waste operation it says could reduce the distance travelled by rubbish trucks, collect compost from the kerb and reward people who reuse and recycle.

The proposal is to scrap private competition for landfill waste and give control of transfer stations - the gateways to landfills - back to the council.

The report by council officers suggests extending Waitakere's user-pays system throughout the region and scrapping ratepayer subsidies for rubbish collection.

Under the user-pays system, people who send all their rubbish to landfills without sorting it pay a higher fee than those who re-use and recycle.

At present Auckland councils have a mish-mash of user-pays and rates-subsidised rubbish and recycling systems that channel most waste into the hands of two private operators - Transpacific Industries and Envirowaste Services.

Waitakere wants these companies to enter a joint venture to handle landfills for the region, and hand control of the transfer stations to the new Auckland Council.

The Super City could then raise landfill charges to encourage people to send green and recyclable waste elsewhere.

The Waitakere City Council's chairman of works and infrastructure, Derek Battersby, said rubbish trucks were travelling from one end of the region to the other to dump waste because their operators had contracts with one landfill company or the other.

"There is a lot of fiscal inefficiency between the two companies, and if we could bring those together and create a private-public partnership ... it would be a great assistance to the hard-pressed ratepayers."

Auckland's various rubbish and recycling systems are on a long list of services that will be merged under the Super City.

Even more daunting is the creation of a single rating system, water and wastewater charges, district plan and a common set of bylaws.

Computer and information systems, billing, payroll and human resources will also have to merge.

Commentators are already saying the restructuring will take 10 years.

Envirowaste managing director Gary Saunders said he did not want to comment on specific proposals until recommendations were released by the Auckland Transition Agency, which is setting up the Auckland Council.

But he said the company was more than open to discussions about making waste management more efficient and cutting transport costs.

The Waitakere report says the Auckland region produces more than a third of the nation's waste. More than 1.4 million tonnes a year reached landfills from businesses and households.

A report for the Auckland Regional Council in October said the existence of competing private landfills gave companies an incentive to secure as much waste as possible, hampering efforts to reuse and recycle and making it tough for Auckland to meet its national waste strategy target of cutting landfill waste 20 per cent by 2015.

Waste management costs Auckland councils about $73 million a year, or 10 per cent of their overall budgets, according to the Waitakere report.

Mr Battersby noted the proposal could fall foul of competition laws but said it "is about getting rubbish removed at the least possible cost. Competition is not doing that".


Waitakere Proposal:

* Landfill and transfer station owners Transpacific Industries and Envirowaste Services Limited enter joint venture.
* Auckland council takes control of the refuse transfer station network, the gateways to landfills.
* Regional kerbside organic waste (kitchen and greenwaste) collection started.
* Truck trips are reduced; some refuse taken to landfill by rail.

Possible benefits:
* Cost to ratepayers cut by $20 million a year.
* $53m annual rates subsidy for waste management to user-pays.
* Annual household costs cut from $161 to $115.
* Waste-related trips cut by 14pc.
* Diversion of up to 35pc of waste or 300,000 tonnes from landfill.
* Carbon emissions cut by 81,000 tonnes a year.