Re­cy­cling con­fu­sion reigns in Kapiti

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JOEL MAXWELL

‘‘Every­body as­sumed that some­body had nicked it, as you would’’

Some thought they were vic­tims of a crime, oth­ers were left with a grow­ing pile of smelly re­cy­clables, most were just con­fused as a $1.7 mil­lion re­cy­cling up­grade was branded rub­bish.

Na­tion­wide waste com­pany En­vi­rowaste has apol­o­gised to res­i­dents of the Kapiti Coast af­ter learn­ing the hard way what hap­pens when you take crates from some of the re­gion’s most faith­ful re­cy­clers.

Col­lec­tions gen­eral man­ager Rus­sell Ste­wart said En­vi­rowaste ac­knowl­edged some cus­tomers faced dif­fi­cul­ties dur­ing the re­cy­cling up­grade, ‘‘and for that we apol­o­gise’’. The changes would lead to a ‘‘best prac­tice re­cy­cling ser­vice’’ in the district.

In the past month the com­pany took re­cy­cling crates from its rub­bish bag cus­tomers, leav­ing some com­plain­ing of stolen crates and a com­mu­ni­ca­tion breakdown.

Otaki res­i­dent Ann Chap­man said her prob­lems started when her about-$20 re­cy­cling crate van­ished from the kerb on re­cy­cling day.

Chap­man said she called her rub­bish com­pany En­vi­rowaste af­ter find­ing out on Face­book it had taken in the crates.

Un­der the new sys­tem, En­vi­rowaste’s rub­bish bag cus­tomers would get a 240 litre wheelie bin for non-glass, and a new crate for glass re­cy­cling. Col­lec­tion would al­ter­nate weekly. The change would en­cour­age more re­cy­cling, with the big­ger bin, and stop re­cy­clables blow­ing across the street.

‘‘They didn’t ac­cept li­a­bil­ity for the crate, they didn’t ac­cept there was a com­mu­ni­ca­tion prob­lem,’’ Chap­man said.

She later found out there was ad­ver­tis­ing be­fore the pick-ups but many peo­ple in the com­mu­nity had no idea it would hap­pen, ‘‘and every­body as­sumed that some­body had nicked it, as you would’’.

Waikanae Beach home­owner Don Tor­ring­ton said the changes were ‘‘weird stuff’’.

Last week his neigh­bour’s crate was taken while his re­mained on the kerb but with only the news­pa­pers col­lected.

Many cus­tomers did not know they were los­ing their crate, or that they had to call En­vi­rowaste. Some, like Tor­ring­ton, did not even know they were an En­vi­rowaste cus­tomer.

He was not sure which provider he ac­tu­ally used, but the coun­cil told him to call En­vi­rowaste. He and his neigh­bour were signed up for the new two-bin sys­tem.

Kapiti was a lead­ing re­cy­cler over the past five years, top­ping the re­gional charts, or plac­ing sec­ond, an­nu­ally.

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