Coun­cil bagged over rub­bish pick-up rule

Coastal News - - News - By AL­I­SON SMITH [email protected]­news.co.nz

A coun­cil di­rec­tive that stops peo­ple pro­tect­ing rub­bish bags from seag­ulls with kerb­side cages is be­ing slated as “stupid” by lo­cals.

Thames-coro­man­del Dis­trict Coun­cil has an­nounced it will no longer ac­cept bags hung from trees or put in cages — which res­i­dents do to stop dogs and seag­ulls rip­ping into rub­bish — be­cause of the ex­tra time it takes con­trac­tors to col­lect them.

How­ever, it will send con­trac­tors back to col­lect any lit­ter if pesky an­i­mals such as seag­ulls rip into the bags and have their fill.

“I heard on the ra­dio to­day that street smart will not col­lect rub­bish bags that are hung in trees or are in cages, they will how­ever at­tempt to pick up bags that have been ripped apart by dogs and seag­ulls! I’m sorry but that’s stupid,” wrote a mem­ber of Tairua Chit Chat on­line fo­rum.

“Just cut your blue bags into quar­ters, chuck them in the street with your rub­bish . . . awe­some dol­lar saver,” sug­gested an­other.

The coun­cil said leav­ing bags in­side cages or on trees de­layed con­trac­tors, “thus not all bags get col­lected as planned dur­ing a par­tic­u­lar day”.

“Our solid waste con­trac­tor Smart En­vi­ron­men­tal has for sev­eral years col­lected rub­bish bags that were not left on the kerb­side, even though the con­tracted ser­vice is for a kerb­side col­lec­tion,” the coun­cil states in its e-news­let­ter.

“Smart staff are find­ing that in­creas­ing num­bers of bags are be­ing left in cages or hung from trees or poles. Smart staff will no longer be col­lect­ing these bags and are in­stead plac­ing stick­ers on them to no­tify res­i­dents and prop­erty own­ers that rub­bish bags must be left on the kerb­side to be col­lected.”

It would send con­trac­tors back to pick up lit­ter if bags were ripped open by gulls or stray dogs.

“If [con­trac­tors] are un­able to pick up this scat­tered rub­bish then they will no­tify our coun­cil and we will send staff to col­lect it.”

The TCDC sys­tem of col­lec­tion in­volves three sep­a­rate con­tain­ers — a re­cy­cling bin for glass, wheelie bin for tin, plas­tics and pa­per, and a $2.50 plas­tic blue bag that res­i­dents must use for non-re­cy­clable rub­bish in­clud­ing food waste.

The coun­cil says peo­ple should take rub­bish bags to refuse trans­fer sta­tion col­lec­tion points if they can­not put them out for col­lec­tion on rub­bish day and sells a $15 net-like con­trap­tion called the gul­li­na­tor that slips over bags to stop seag­ulls tear­ing into them.

TCDC com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Lau­rna White said bags put un­der a “gul­li­na­tor” would still be col­lected.

PHOTO/FILE

Gulls get­ting stuck into rub­bish bags.

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