Up to 30 new local jobs could be created when the Rotorua Lakes Council introduces its new rubbish collection regime.

The council plans to dump its brown rubbish bag collection in favour of a new three-bin collection system, and its new contractor says no recycling centres or transfer stations in the district will be closed with jobs created.

Brown rubbish bags will become redundant in the urban area while in parts of the district, such as Rotorua's lakes, a combined bag and wheelie bin service will be introduced.

The council and its new contractor, Auckland-based Smart Environmental, will provide two wheelie bins and one crate to 26,403 properties throughout the district from next month ready for a start date of October 31.


The council's transport and waste solutions director Stravros Michael said the new 15-year contract would save ratepayers between $300,000 and $400,000 a year, while Smart Environmental managing director Grahame Christian said his company was busy recruiting workers and had already employed 10 Rotorua locals and hoped to employ another 20.

Mr Michael said residents would get a 240-litre bin for general recycling collected fortnightly, a 140-litre bin for household rubbish collected weekly, and a crate for glass recycling to be collected fortnightly.

The change would significantly increase the amount of recyclables collected from about 3000 tonnes per year to 7000 tonnes.

"So there are cost reductions, diversion of waste from the landfill and more opportunities for recycling."

He said Rotorua Contracting (formerly Castlecorp) did not put in a tender for the work and while about eight staff would lose their jobs, at least four of them would find new work within the council.

"Their fleet of vehicles were significantly outdated and were not suitable for the new process," Mr Michael said.

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Mr Christian said the calibre of applicants for collection roles was "extremely positive and surprising".

He said he would be more than ready for a busy summer.

"We have a massive standby fleet, and get extra people in. We are experienced with that from working in Rodney (north of Auckland), Thames and Coromandel.

"There are lots of absentee owners who come back for the peak period over summer."

He said while there could be some teething problems, his company was willing to work with the community to fine-tune the service.

"We'll be listening and any changes we'll make will be with the community."

Rotorua Lakes Community Board chairman Geoff Palmer said he was confident the new system would work.

"It's new territory for a lot of people and of course people tend to resist change initially.

"At this stage there seems to be some flexibility in terms of how to best service areas and we'll work closely with the new contractor to deal with those.

"It's a real step forward for recycling - doubling the capacity - and that's got to be good."

He said Tarawera residents would retain paper bags while Okareka and other areas, such as Okere, Rotoiti and Rotoma, would be using a combined system, depending on accessibility.

Household rubbish disposal:

• From October 31, kerbside wheelie bin and recycling collections will begin.
• The new system will save between $300,000 to $400,000 a year.
• One 240l bin for general recycling collected fortnightly.
• One 140l bin for household rubbish collected weekly.
• One crate for glass recycling collected fortnightly.
• Overall costs will drop from $5.3 million to $4.9 million annually.