First-week blues for re­cy­cling ser­vice

Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE - COLIN WIL­LIAMS

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’’.

PHOTO: COLIN WIL­LIAMS/ FAIR­FAX NZ

The first Satur­day and the re­cy­cling sta­tion is busy.

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