Dis­ap­pear­ing wheelie bins cost­ing coun­cil

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - ALEXAN­DRA NEL­SON

Rub­bish bin thefts are leav­ing thou­sands of Auck­lan­ders in the dumps and cost­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars in re­place­ments each year.

Auck­land Coun­cil has re­vealed it re­ceives about 7600 re­ports of stolen or missing bins ev­ery year.

And with a new bin cost­ing up to $60 that amounts to more than $450,000 worth of missing bins.

The coun­cil’s cus­tomer en­hance­ment man­ager Wayne Fun­nell said it doesn’t know what hap­pens to the stolen bins.

It ’’works out to be less than one per cent of Auck­land house­holds’’ that are af­fected, he said.

Although less than one per cent doesn’t seem like much, that’s an av­er­age of 633 re­ports of missing rub­bish bins ev­ery month of the year - about 158 each week.

If bins are re­ported missing or stolen the coun­cil’s con­trac­tor, Waste Man­age­ment, re­places them at no cost to the cus­tomer.

It usu­ally takes up to 15 work­ing days for a re­place­ment to ar­rive.

Stolen bins could be be­hind high rates of il­le­gal rub­bish dump­ing in the city. Il­le­gal rub­bish dump­ing has been an is­sue in Auck­land over the past two years.

In 2015, the coun­cil re­ceived more than 12,000 re­ports of il­le­gal rub­bish dump­ing, with the Manukau re­gion be­ing the worst.

The coun­cil also col­lected more than 25,000 tonnes of waste through its in­or­ganic col­lec­tions - that’s the equiv­a­lent of fill­ing Eden Park with rub­bish up to the rugby posts.

An Auck­land Coun­cil spokes­woman said if your bin has gone missing it’s a good idea to check your neigh­bours haven’t ac­ci­den­tally taken it.

Down in the South Is­land, the Christchurch City Coun­cil has spent $4.5 mil­lion to mi­crochip wheelie bins to stop thieves after it re­ceived re­ports that 300 go missing each month.

The coun­cil said it would save ratepay­ers $9.3m dur­ing the next 13 years be­cause it would re­move lost, dam­aged and stolen bins from cir­cu­la­tion.

This went ahead in July with the coun­cil’s con­trac­tor Waste Man­age­ment fit­ting each wheelie bin with a ra­dio fre­quency tag to en­sure bins that were dam­aged, stolen or found on other prop­er­ties could be eas­ily iden­ti­fied. The tag would be checked as the col­lec­tion truck goes past to en­sure the bin was near the cor­rect prop­erty.

It usu­ally takes up to 15 work­ing days for a re­place­ment bin to ar­rive.

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