Like many of us, I used to be somewhat ambivalent about recycling.
If our council isn't serious about it, then why should we be?
That's until the more forward-thinking one in our household began recycling anyway. We discovered we could move from weekly to fortnightly bin collections due to the waste we were redirecting and thus halve our rubbish costs.
Plus it does something good for the environment – or at least doesn't add to its woes. So plenty of upsides.
Back to council.
To say they are not serious about recycling is unfair. The Whanganui Recovery Resource Centre is a hive of recycling activity and without council's support would not exist.
But the lack of a kerbside collection service beggars belief.
Often you hear comments from visitors that Whanganui ticks many boxes for them but many will remark at the lack of kerbside collection which most other major centres have.
Without it recycling household garbage requires tripping down to the recovery centre to jostle shoulder-to-shoulder with half the city's population – or so it often seems. Glass in one bin, fight to shove some cardboard into another … it takes time and effort.
A report to council's strategy and finance committee estimates kerbside recycling would cost about $60 a year per residential ratepayer.
That's a cost that in many cases will be offset by savings by reduced general rubbish disposal.
Nobody likes rates increases but interestingly a majority of submitters have told council they still want kerbside recycling anyway.
So council will commission a survey to test the mood of ratepayers.
It would be a shame if this opportunity was missed. Kerbide recycling has failed to "get over the line" on other occasions due to concerns over cost.
But this is effectively a cost neutral proposal and one that we should embrace.