The debate around the future of waste collection in Whanganui and potential introduction of a ratepayer-funded collection is set to continue almost two years after a district-wide survey which led to little change.
Any changes will now not take place until after this year's review of the Whanganui District Council's Waste Management & Minimisation Plan.
Thirty per cent of households filled out the much-publicised council survey of community views on rubbish collection in 2018.
It found 44 per cent wanted ratepayer-funded kerbside recycling and rubbish collection, 16 per cent wanted ratepayer-funded kerbside recycling collection only and 40 per cent wanted the status quo - privately run rubbish collection and drop-off recycling - to continue.
Morrison Low Consultants was asked to come back to council with options - options that excluded ratepayer-funded kerbside collection of rubbish and recyclables.
They would have been add-ons to the status quo and included satellite recycling centres, a council-owned transfer station and a facility for demolition waste.
But no change will happen until the Waste Management & Minimisation Plan review.
Council's waste minimisation adviser Stuart Hylton said the process starts with an analysis of what waste the district produces and then an analysis of what happens to that waste now.
After that councillors can workshop some possible changes.
Any major change would be unlikely to take effect before late 2021.
Whanganui is one of a few New Zealand cities with no ratepayer-funded waste and recyclables collection and where rubbish bags are still collected at the kerb.
Two private overseas-owned businesses, EnviroWaste and Waste Management, collect kerbside rubbish in bins. One of them, Waste Management, also picks up rubbish in bags.
The council's waste minimisation chairman, Rob Vinsen, thinks things could be better.
"I'm totally dissatisfied with the waste situation in Whanganui. I think the public aren't getting the service they deserve," he said.
For those who put out little rubbish and want to stick with their occasional bags because it's cheaper, Vinsen believed an 80 litre bin collected fortnightly would be a similar cost.
And although a ratepayer-funded kerbside waste and recycling collection would increase rates four to five per cent, he believes rubbish collection would work out cheaper for most households.
The erratic market for recyclables could be a problem for the council if it decides to collect them.
"At the moment the recycling market certainly isn't in a state where you would want to collect more," Vinsen said.
One add-on to the status quo could be a council-owned transfer station where people can take their waste - providing competition to Waste management's Midtown Transfer Station and Recycling Centre in Liffiton St.
For Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall the problem is a national and global one of a too-wasteful society.
He's proud his family does a lot of recycling and puts out a bag of rubbish every two weeks - but acknowledges it's already too much.
People need to be much more aware of the waste in their lives, he said.
"If we reduce the waste we reduce the cost that everybody is paying at the gate, and the cost of fly tipping, and we start being much more farsighted about what we buy and what we don't."
He'd like a regional or national solution.
What council does about waste
+ Runs the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre, with Tupoho
+ Collects rural rubbish from skip bins
+ Funds education about waste minimisation in schools, at public events
+ Funds other waste initiatives, from its waste minimisation fund
The district's two waste businesses
+ Waste Management
What happens to the waste
+ Rubbish buried at Bonny Glen Landfill - jointly owned by EnviroWaste and Waste Management
+ Recyclables, sent to whatever markets there are