Disappearing wheelie bins costing council
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.