A West Auckland woman says her council-mandated bin tags are being ripped off by rubbish collectors only for the bin itself to be left sitting, full, on the side of the road.

Jackie Oberholzer told the Herald it was common for bins on her end of Bruce McLaren Rd to have their tags pulled off on a Monday but not be emptied until Thursday.

"The truck is supposed to follow the guy and as he pulls the tags off empty the bin - not around here," Oberholzer said.

"A guy comes and pulls all our tags off, but then they only pick up our bins the next day or three days later."


In the intervening days children from the nearby intermediate school would kick bins over, leaving rubbish strewn in the street residents had to pick up themselves, and anyone with a full bin was left with nowhere to put their rubbish.

"It's so frustrating."

She has complained to council and the contractors who manage west Auckland's rubbish removal multiple times saying once she was told that, because the first three days of the week were so busy, the trucks could be sent back later.

A spokeswoman for Auckland council's Waste Solutions confirmed this happened sometimes.

"Depending on volume and truck capacity, we may send a truck back to make the collection later in the week," the spokeswoman said.

Jackie Oberholzer says the collection of her rubbish is unreliable - often the tags are taken, but the bins aren't emptied for days after. Photo / Michael Craig
Jackie Oberholzer says the collection of her rubbish is unreliable - often the tags are taken, but the bins aren't emptied for days after. Photo / Michael Craig

However she said only a small number of missed collections on Bruce McLaren Rd were logged in council data, which had been attributed to residents putting their bins out too late for the 6am collection, the spokeswoman said.

"If a resident has missed their weekly collection we recommend they bring the bin back onto their property until the following week."

Council confirmed they had received one complaint from someone at Oberholzer's address.


"On looking into the matter we believe that the issue has arisen because residents are unaware of the 6am early start collection on a Monday."

Oberholzer denied this, saying she always put her bins out on Sunday night.

Other Aucklanders living where the bin sticker system was used have also contacted the Herald, saying their stickers have been pinched by passersby and they've had to buy new ones.

In a post on Neighbourly sent in late April, which garnered nearly 150 comments, a Te Atatu South resident said their tag was stolen hours after they put their bins out.

"What choice do I have but to put another one on," they asked.

"Any chance the ... Council could find a better solution to this archaic method?"

Waste Solutions manager Ian Stupple said any unauthorised removal of tags, which cost residents between $2.60 and $5.50 a pop, was theft and would be investigated accordingly.

Complaints and general enquiries about the system generally spiked in the weeks after it was rolled out, then tapered off, he said.

Residents purchase orange tags to stick to their rubbish bins when they put them out for collection.

If there's no tag on the bin, it doesn't get collected.

The council introduced a bin tag system in the Waitakere district last October.

The same system was rolled out on the North Shore in April and Papakura in May.