The Waitaki District Council needs to seek ''creative ways to reduce costs'' for rural waste recovery, Cr Craig Dawson says.

As the council passed its 2018-24 waste management and minimisation plan on Tuesday, Cr Craig Dawson noted the significant rise in user fees for waste transfer services in Hampden, Kurow, Otematata, and Omarama was due to transport issues.

He urged the plan's review by the newly-appointed economic development manager Gerard Quinn.

''We're not looking outside the square enough,'' he said.


The long-term affordability of rural recovery parks was addressed by increasing user fees from $60 per cubic metre to $120 for residual waste, and from $20 per cubic metre to $50 for green waste, to better meet the council's goal of recovering 40% to 60% of operating costs of the recovery parks from users.

Ratepayers district-wide pay about $300,000 a year, or 85% of the costs.

Representatives from Waihemo Wastebusters and Hampden Community Energy both presented concerns about the plan to councillors prior to Tuesday's meeting, but council assets group manager Neil Jorgensen said the council could review charges included in the plan at any time and a proposed survey would help to guide future decisions.

''We think it will meet the submitters' needs over time, we just need to have more discussions with them,'' Mr Jorgensen said.

Council assets group manager Neil Jorgensen Photo / Supplied
Council assets group manager Neil Jorgensen Photo / Supplied

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said despite concerns an increase in the cost of disposing of rubbish could increase the worsening ''fly-tipping'' problem - which the council spent $46,000 dealing with last year - that amount was a ''small fraction'' compared with keeping the same subsidy level in place.

The consent for the Palmerston landfill expires in 2027, but the council signalled its intention to close it sooner.

The plan also notes the council's intention to leave kerbside collection of waste and recycling to the private market.

However, the council has decided to develop a community waste survey for $10,000, funded from the Ministry for the Environment waste levy, and several submitters on the council's just-approved 2018-28 long-term plan asked for the council to revisit the issue of kerbside recycling.


Mr Kircher said ''decisions have been made in the past that got us where we are''.

''Kerbside collection is a pretty big change to go back to that,'' he said. ''But if that's the case, we're giving people the opportunity.''