Kaikōura rubbish collection will hike up rates, council warns

4:18 pm on 23 December 2020

A household rubbish collection is on the cards at last for Kaikōura residents - but it could add $70 to the average rates bill.

Christchurch recycling bins.

File photo. Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

The Kaikōura District Council is overhauling its waste and recycling services as part of a new waste minimisation plan.

The main changes proposed are the introduction of a fortnightly wheelie bin rubbish pick-up for urban Kaikōura, using 120-litre wheelie bins.

Recycling runs will end for Peketa, Goose Bay, Oarao and Hāpuku.

The weekly recycling run in Kaikōura will drop down to once a fortnight, and the rural recycling centre at the Suburban School will close.

That would save some money but the new rubbish collection would still put up urban rate bills, according to council operations manager Dave Clibbery.

South Beach ratepayer Cheryl Hodson who organised a 1000-plus signature petition calling for a recycling and rubbish collection this year said she could not understand why it would cost so much more when recycling was being hard-pruned.

"It's not as if there's even much you can actually recycle these days, and why wheelie bins for the rubbish.

"Why not go back to the bags that we had before recycling became a thing? Surely there's a more efficient option than what the council's been quoted."

The increased charges were based on costings by the council-owned contractor IWK, Clibbery said.

On top of the charge for a rubbish collection, the council-owned company also planned to charge $30 more per household for its existing waste services, which meant urban ratepayers could be looking at an extra $100 a year all up.

IWK's company's costings will be tested when the council puts its waste service out to tender on the open market for the first time, early next year.

It was hard to predict what interest there would be from other contractors, Clibbery said.

"We are a small and quite isolated community, but on the other hand, sometimes the market can surprise you."

Community feedback had shown Kaikōura residents wanted a rubbish collection and it would support older people who could not easily take their refuse to the landfill.

In his comprehensive report to council last week, Clibbery said the Kaikōura District had been unusual in not providing kerbside rubbish pick-ups.

That had been based on the zero waste principle and the idea that making it easy to get rid of rubbish would discourage people from producing less.

"In recent times it has become increasingly apparent that the extent to which most residents are able to reduce their waste through services such as recycling is quite limited," Clibbery said.

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