Councillor Rob Vinsen says dump fees are outrageous.

From a resident's point of view wanting to dump the weekend's green waste he, of course, is correct.

Reports have come thick and fast on our social media channel from folk furious over being charged $50, $70 and even $100 for green waste or small amounts of general rubbish.

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Whanganui reacts to increased charges at transfer station


Alister McFarland from West Australia even chimed in with how much cheaper dump fees are over the ditch, adding "you guys are getting ripped off."

Councillor Vinsen says the transfer station owners are getting away with it, "because they are the only place in town that can do it."

And there's the nub of the matter.

This day was always going to happen from the time council abandoned its municipal services in favour of privatisation.

That move was prompted by the Balgownie dump filling up and the city needing to buy space at nearby Bonny Glenn.

Businesses have a profit imperative – the more the better – that's capitalism.

To be fair what we see as exploitative charges may not seem that way on a balance sheet.

Once we handed over control of our rubbish to private enterprise, fees were always going to go up from that point.

To be fair what we see as exploitative charges may not seem that way on a balance sheet.


Imagine the cost of buying and maintaining all those rubbish trucks and large machinery.

The city could ask politely for the fees to be kept civil (roll the Tui ad).

Or is it time we went back to a municipally run service? Our own dump, our own collection infrastructure and a break-even policy on fees.

Fly tipping is already a problem and for as long as profit-motives dictate our dump fees the problem is likely to only get worse.

Then again, if there was an easy way that we could all divert half or more of our weekly refuse to recycling, we may not need to visit the transfer station as often.

Even then, if that is to be a privately run service, we can expect what might seem like reasonable fees now, to eventually go up.

Bring back the rubbish trucks.