Recycling confusion reigns in Kapiti
‘‘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.