Haz-waste service faces chop
Changes to the way hazardous waste is collected can be expected if the Auckland Council's draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan is adopted in its current form.
The Hazmobile hazardous waste collection service visits different communities on set dates but under the plan it could be axed in favour of a programme where residents would need to drop off their dangerous rubbish at depots throughout the city.
The free Hazmobile service started in 2000 and has since collected thousands of tonnes of batteries, household chemicals and other material that could be dangerous to people and the environment.
Council infrastructure and environmental services manager John Dragicevich says the council is aware that a hazardous waste collection service is highly necessary and it is simply looking for the most efficient and effective way of doing this.
It's expected the move could save about $3.5 million over 10 years.
At the moment the Hazmobile service is supplemented by collection sites at the Silverdale Transfer Station and the Waitakere Refuse and Recycling Transfer.
Mr Dragicevich says more drop-off points will be developed over time and the Hazmobile service will continue until enough facilities are available to make the change convenient for everyone.
The proposal hasn't gone without criticism though, with some fearing it could leave residents out in the cold.
Albert-Eden Local Board chairman Peter Haynes says it is imperative that a drop-off depot is built in the central Auckland isthmus area.
"Things are not ideal even with the Hazmobile. For example, a local sustainability group has found it difficult to continue a battery collection service in our area without a convenient drop-off point," he says.
"If the Hazmobile disappears and we don't replace it with a depot in the isthmus area, we'll be worse off than we were before. This needs to be attended to urgently."
Councillors will meet on Friday to adopt the plan. Implementation will begin in 2015.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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