Rotorua Lakes Council and its new kerbside rubbish and recycling collection contractor Smart Environmental will work together to implement new services across the district this year.

The contract for waste collection services will see the introduction of wheelie bins and kerbside recycling with Smart Environmental's first collection set for October 31.

The company will also operate transfer stations in the district's rural areas, provide litter collection services in Rotorua and work with the council to establish services in rural areas where there are currently none.

The 15-year contract does not include management and operation of the district's landfill which was tendered separately. An announcement regarding that contract will happen soon.

"We want to reduce costs, improve services, increase recycling, reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill and better protect the environment," council's Sustainable Living Portfolio lead Councillor Janet Wepa said.

"Reducing health and safety risks - which are high under the current manual collection system - is also a significant driver and we have a rubbish truck fleet that needs replacing so now is a good time to be making changes.

"Rotorua people have been asking for kerbside recycling for a long time so I'm really pleased we are now going to see it happening.

"Recycling centres and transfer stations will also still be available so we're actually going to be providing more services and more options for people.

"As a council we need to balance the need for a good, high standard service with the cost of providing it and a lot of effort has gone into developing these new services. Paper bags are actually quite expensive as very few councils use them now and the wheelie bins have a long lifespan," Mrs Wepa said.

Council's director of transport and waste solutions, Stravros Michael, said council and Smart Environmental staff would be collaborating on the roll-out of the new services and community awareness.

"Council staff have been consulting with rural and lakes communities where there are transfer stations and/or access issues and there will be some flexibility in the services so some changes will be possible in future," he said.

"Meanwhile, we will be talking to rural communities currently not getting any services in the near future about what services can be established for them and information will be going out to businesses about changes for them."

Preferred contractors for both contracts were approved by Council after being identified following a tender process. Three tenders were received for each of the two contracts.

The preferred providers were identified following a robust and objective evaluation process, Mr Michael said.

"We were looking for innovation as well as efficiency and cost-effectiveness. What we have developed will provide new and additional services within our existing budgets."

Smart Environmental Managing Director Grahame Christian said the company was looking forward to working with Rotorua Lakes Council to bring new services to Rotorua residents.

"We look forward to growing our relationship, bringing further innovation and creating new jobs in the Rotorua community," he said.

"This is to my knowledge, one of the largest and longest term contracts in New Zealand - we are proud to be the successful tenderer and I think being a 100% New Zealand-owned company is an additional benefit.

"Rotorua Lakes Council has been very clever in putting this contract together to encompass current and future best industry practice in New Zealand. It will provide for outstanding solutions for the Rotorua community."

Mr Christian said integrating multiple related services into one contract would provide certainty and bring long-term savings to ratepayers.

The new services will also see a reduction in the amount of waste going to landfill which will reduce further over time, he said.

Timeline for introduction of new rubbish and recycling services:

1 July 2016
· New contractor takes over transfer stations
· New contractor takes over operation on in-town recycling centre

July to October
· 75,000 wheelie and recycling bins - tagged to properties and bar-coded - to be delivered to 26,403 properties throughout the district (with educational/information packs attached)

31 October
· First kerbside wheelie and recycling collection


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