Charging $59 for a trailer load of rubbish - regardless of what's in it - is "outrageous", Whanganui councillor Rob Vinsen says.
"They are getting away with it, because they are the only place in town that can do it."
For the last few months there has only been one waste transfer station in town. It's owned by Waste Management and it put its prices up in March this year.
Waste Management's national manager customer first, Marsha Cadman, could not give a reason for the price hike.
Adding to that, both Whanganui's private waste collection companies are owned by huge Asian corporations, and they each own 50 per cent of the Bonny Glen Landfill near Marton.
"They have a complete stranglehold on the waste collection industry locally," Vinsen said.
He's been getting calls from people annoyed by increased charges at Liffiton St. Some are simply driving away with their rubbish.
He worries they may dump it by the side of a road instead. It also worries him that Whanganui's two waste companies, Waste Management and EnviroWaste, have no incentive to minimise waste. In fact they may earn more when more waste is produced.
"They deny that, but I can't see that it's not a factor."
Rapanui Rd resident Bob Gilbertson is one stung by the increased charges at Liffiton St. He said leaving two catcher-fulls of grass used to cost about $4, and he was asked to pay $9.
Whanganui's other transfer station in Gilberd St is owned by EnviroWaste. It closed to the public earlier this year, citing health and safety reasons. Businesses can still use it.
EnviroWaste has stopped selling pink stickers and collecting rubbish in bags. Waste Management is still selling its yellow rubbish bag stickers, but says it may also stop collecting bags.
If that happens the only roadside waste collection in town will be from bins. Whanganui District Council's current waste survey aims to gauge how residents want it to respond to that situation.
The other waste business in town is the non-profit Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre, run by Tupoho Whanau Trust and Whanganui District Council. It charges $3.50 to dispose of a bag of rubbish, $20 for a small trailer of green waste and $30 for a large one.
Vinsen says it's considering developing its own transfer station.
"We are needing to look at this at a council level, if the market place is failing, and I believe it is."