First-week blues for recycling service
A week into a year-long trial is no time to make judgement on the success or otherwise of Upper Hutt’s free recycling regime, says mayor Wayne Guppy.
Since the January 24 opening of the Park St station people have taken the chance to recycle but with the container’s cardboard and newspaper partition filled to capacity early on each day, much has been dumped.
‘‘We’re going to have our ups and downs and these are early issues,’’ Guppy said.
‘‘Its use will be monitored and we might have to look at the times it is open but you don’t want to be making any decisions after one week. That’s why we are having a [year long] trial.’’
The pleasing thing is Upper Hutt people were recycling in huge volume, Guppy said.
The mayor hopes the behaviour is the result of ‘‘hoarding’’ and not a signifier of how people will behave in the weeks and months ahead.
‘‘The big thing is the volume of cardboard and paper but we are also having a considerable amount of domestic refuse left there and we know there are commercial operations using it.’’
A security camera had been set up and was operating and the council was asking residents to report the time, date and vehicle details of people who dumped rubbish or left material outside the station’s three-days a week opening hours.
‘‘We are not on a witch hunt about this and the best thing will be in educating people. Obviously if it’s full or closed you hope people just won’t dump stuff.’’
The facility and the issues around it have sparked plenty of social media comments, ranging from an acceptance there would be early problems to dissatisfaction with the size and availability of a long-wanted service.
‘‘What a joke, and if anything was set up to be a failure, this is it,’’ Kingsley Heights resident Jude Kennedy said. ‘‘The trial bin which has cost us as ratepayers $55,000 is more suited to picnic sites or campgrounds.’’
Sandra Alexander wants to believe ‘‘these little incidents are just teething problems given many people have been hoarding their recycling since approval became action’’.
Gab Benson hoped the opening week was ‘‘just a hoarding and release issue otherwise [the council] have severely underestimated the amount of recycling Upper Hutt residents have been taking to Lower Hutt’’.
The first Saturday and the recycling station is busy.