Porirua ratepayers can breathe a sigh of relief that Wellington City Council, at least for now, are not keen to progress our council’s grandiose combined Porirua and Wellington rubbish collection adventure.
Rubbish has three components – collection, disposal and these days, recycling.
Wellington and Porirua already have a joint venture with disposal, our local tip.
So how could Porirua ratepayers benefit from joint collection?
They can’t. The only collection economies are from market domination in scale, street by street.
Collection costs decrease the greater the percentage of residents in a street using a particular collection company. Obviously it’s cheaper for the company (and council) if 100 per cent of a street’s residents use the same company.
But unless PCC is planning to go back in time to Muldoon-style management, residents have freedom of choice, so that won’t happen.
Otherwise, the cost of collection is determined by factors like terrain, street width, turning and access, which determines collections per hour (productivity).
Who has the wider and more accessible streets? If Porirua has the better streets for refuse collection, which city’s ratepayers will end up paying more?
Thank you Wellington for deciding not to have Porirua ratepayers subsidise Wellington’s rubbish collection. Or perhaps they had low confidence in PCC’s ability to manage and negotiate such a contract.
Justified? Despite running a high-cost recycling operation, subsidised by ratepayers in multiple ways, PCC signed a contract for the tip management which allows fees to increase annually, but not reduce, due to less waste/more recycling, as has occurred for the last five years.
How does PCC rate in other measures of efficiency and professionalism? Do you have to ask many times for the true cost of a project, because PCC discounts costs if partly funded from reserves and other cash sources? Do PCC repeatedly claim in the LTP that spending on roads is sufficient to re-surface them all in a 15-year timeframe, despite knowing this to be untrue? Do PCC require planning applications to be supported by technical product specifications, sometimes running to hundreds of pages, which must all be printed out by the applicant from the manufacturers’ websites, and which are then scanned back into electronic format by PCC?
Councillors and senior management, please stick to your core business in Porirua. Concentrate on improving PCC productivity before planning yet more adventures with ratepayers money.
ANDREW WELLUM, Camborne.