Idea rub­bish

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Ed­i­tor,

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.

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