Aucklanders unhappy with a controversial bin tag system have logged nearly 3000 requests for service in the 18 months since the scheme started.
Waitākere residents were the first to replace bags with bins and pre-paid tags attached in October 2017, followed by North Shore in March 2018 and Papakura in May last year.
Almost since the scheme began residents raised concerns with Auckland Council about tags going missing and being removed but bins not being emptied.
The council had received 2763 requests for services about missing bin tags and 162 about bin tags that have been vandalised or damaged.
A council spokeswoman said a request for service was "a job that requires action", and many of those cases required the bins to be cleared.
There had been a further 49 classed as complaint, requiring an investigation and response, which were generally about bins not being emptied but tags having been removed. Nobody had been caught stealing tags.
On Totara Rd in Whenuapai many residents have become so fed up they have given up on the council system and switched to private company Econowaste.
Justine Boot said about half a dozen times her rubbish bin had not been emptied.
"It seems like a small thing, but it is really frustrating. You wheel it 100m down the driveway and then come home that evening and it hasn't been emptied."
On some occasions the bin had simply been missed.
Other times she believed the tag had been stolen, while sometimes, including this week, the tag had been removed, placed inside the bin, and still not picked up.
"Some people say the trucks have runners going ahead pulling the tags off the bins. The tag system seems really archaic and labour intensive.
"Sometimes they even leave the tag on and still empty the rubbish. I don't know what is going on and I don't really care what they do, I just want them to collect our rubbish."
Sometimes she complained to the council, which would arrange for the bin to be emptied several days later, but other times she simply didn't bother.
"It just gets really annoying having to chase it up all of the time."
Tag prices ranged from $2.60 for 80L, $3.80 for 120L and $5.50 for 240L.
Boot said she reluctantly switched to private company Econowaste this week, which charged $2.45 a week for an 80L bin, joining many of her neighbours.
Boot said she didn't think the pay-per-use system was working as intended to reduce waste.
"We compost our food waste, and recycle, so the stuff that goes in the bin is often stuff that you don't want sitting around for too long.
"If it is sitting there for two to three weeks, especially in summer, it gets really gross and smelly. So we need that weekly pick up regardless of how much there is."
Boot said it was also unfair they were on a different system to other parts of Auckland, with only Waitākere, North Shore and Papakura on the tag system.
The council's waste solutions programme director, Parul Sood, said most of the requests for service came when the scheme was first introduced in the three areas, and were resolved quickly.
"The bin tag system is working well for the majority of properties in North Shore, Waitākere and Papakura."
The council had planned to shift the entire city to a user pays scheme by the end of 2020, as part of a bid to encourage Aucklanders to reduce waste.
The plastic tag system was intended to be temporary while a digital tagging scheme was developed.
Sood said the council was still planning to move the city to one collection method, but the exact system, be it the tag system or a new digital system, and timeline were not confirmed.
"We're in a procurement process that will determine what our new rubbish solution will be.
"The final outcome of what that solution is hasn't been confirmed yet, and if this is a digital solution is to be determined.
"The intent is that we will move to one consistent solution across the region."
People with bin tag issues could contact the council on 09 301 0101.