Rub­bish kicked off kerb

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By JU­LIAN RAETHEL

THE days of Auck­land’s streets look­ing like a scene out of Once Were War­riors are num­bered.

Auck­land Coun­cil is set to re­place its con­tro­ver­sial kerb­side in­or­ganic rub­bish col­lec­tions with a pre­ar­ranged pick-up ser­vice.

The ser­vice has been given the tick by the coun­cil’s Bud­get Com­mit­tee and is due to start in Oc­to­ber.

It is al­ready op­er­at­ing in parts of west Auck­land.

It aims to more ef­fec­tively re­cy­cle the ma­te­rial that’s col­lected more ef­fec­tively and dis­cour­age illegal dump­ing.

‘‘Cur­rently in­or­ganic ma­te­ri­als col­lected are sent to land­fill,’’ coun­cil solid waste man­ager Ian Stup­ple says.

‘‘The new ser­vice will en­able the re­cov­ery of more re­sources for re-use and re­cy­cling.’’

Auck­land is one of the few coun­cils in the coun­try that has pro­vided the kerb­side ser­vice.

Un­der the new sys­tem peo­ple will get fly­ers in their let­ter­boxes telling them when the an­nual col­lec­tion time is ap­proach­ing.

They will then book in with the coun­cil to have in­or­ganic rub­bish col­lected from their prop­er­ties.

The op­er­a­tion will rates-funded.

Paul Evans is chief ex­ec­u­tive of WasteMINZ, the largest rep­re­sen­ta­tive body of New Zealand’s waste and re­source re­cov­ery sec­tor.

Bring­ing ev­ery­one un­der

be the same um­brella makes sense, he says.

‘‘One of the key things is [kerb­side rub­bish] cre­ates quite a lot of public nui­sance. Peo­ple come along and dump rub­bish il­le­gally. The other key driv­ing fac­tor is the as­pi­ra­tion for Auck­land to be a zero-waste city.’’

New Wind­sor’s Dun­can McKen­zie wel­comes the change af­ter the mess made by peo­ple dump­ing their rub­bish on his street.

‘‘It was aw­ful,’’ he says. ‘‘I ex­pected to see rats run­ning around it.’’

The coun­cil re­ceived more than 13,000 com­plaints about illegal dump­ing in 2013-14 and a fur­ther 12,800 so far this fi­nan­cial year. That in­cludes the mess left by the in­or­ganic ser­vices.

The an­nual spend on in­or­ganic col­lec­tions is about $7.2 mil­lion.

The new mea­sures prob­a­bly wouldn’t change peo­ple’s waste and re­cy­cling habits straight away but in time it will be­come the norm, Evans says.

‘‘It’s change and, as hu­man be­ings, we don’t like change that much.

‘‘But I think in five years time it will be very pos­i­tive.

‘‘Re­cy­cling was the same in the early 90s. Peo­ple thought it was ridicu­lous hav­ing to sort through their rub­bish,’’ he says.

Auck­land coun­cil­lors are due to give the green light to the new sys­tem as part of their de­lib­er­a­tions on the city’s new Long Term Plan on June 25.

Photo: DUN­CAN McKEN­ZIE

In­or­ganic rub­bish on an Auck­land street.

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