Waste removal now fortnightly
Once a week too expensive
Continuing with a weekly refuse collection service would have meant an increase of about 74 per cent in collection costs, the Central Otago District Council said.
The council awarded an eight-year refuse collection contract to AllWaste, which will deliver the new fortnightly refuse collection service from July.
Infrastructure services manager Jon Kingsford said the tender process had provided a ‘‘reality check’’ for the council.
‘‘We had the same contract for 14 years, so it was well beyond its useby date and we knew that the market had changed. We anticipated continuation of a weekly refuse collection would come at significant extra cost to ratepayers and this was confirmed through the tender process.’’
The other aspect to take into account was growth in Central Otago, Kingsford said.
‘‘We were at capacity in terms of servicing all the properties receiving a refuse collection service in our district in a one-week timeframe with the current level of investment of [one truck]. It would have taken two trucks to continue to provide that level of service and allow for growth in our district and our expanded collection areas.’’
By moving to a fortnightly service, Central Otago had avoided an increase in the refuse collection rate, he said.
There would also be savings generated by sending less material to landfill. In the short term, the modest savings made from moving to a fortnightly collection would be offset by the additional cost of managing the anticipated increase of recyclable material, he said.
‘‘It’s not as simple as saying ‘half the service, half the cost’ as we have been hearing from a number of ratepayers. The actual collection of the bins is only about 37 per cent of the full cost of providing that service. It is not just about picking bins up, but transporting all that rubbish, paying for the disposal of that rubbish and paying Central Government levies. Ratepayers just see their bin contents being emptied into the truck, but don’t see the twothirds of the service that makes up the bulk of the cost.’’
A visible sign of the changing contract was the new red-lidded wheelie bins that have started being delivered to properties around the district. The new contract required a new fleet of bins because the existing bins belonged to the contractor – not council, he said.
Another notable change with the new contract was the expanded refuse collection area, which included Bannockburn, Pisa Moorings and sections of Manuherikia Road and Letts Gully Road in Alexandra.
Properties in these areas would be rated for the refuse collection service the same as the majority of the Central Otago district. The targeted Refuse Collection rate for 2014/15 was about $225.
■ Further information on waste minimisation, the new refuse collection areas and waste services can be found at codc.govt.nz/zerowaste