Rubbish station to stay but cost more

Last updated 07:25 10/12/2013

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Charges for using Bunnythorpe's refuse transfer station are set to increase, but the village will at least keep the facility.

The future of the station was challenged at yesterday's meeting of the Palmerston North City Council finance and performance committee, which recommended that dumping charges go up at both Bunnythorpe and Ashhurst.

Newly-elected councillor Leonie Hapeta questioned the viability of the Bunnythorpe facility.

"For about 250 residents, it is an expensive resource to have, and we at least need to investigate it."

But councillors who were involved with consultation about the boundary change which saw the former Manawatu community absorbed into the city last year said it would undermine relationships to propose any loss of service so soon.

Cr Ross Linklater said it would be heavy-handed, deputy mayor Jim Jefferies said it would be a breach of faith, and Cr Lew Findlay said the city council would be seen as bully boys.

The recommendation to review the facility with a view to closure was outvoted by nine votes to five.

Bunnythorpe resident Pita Kinaston said after the meeting that the refuse station was used and appreciated by locals.

He said there was always someone else using it when he stopped by on Saturdays to drop off recycling and city council rubbish bags.

"As a resident, I would certainly voice my disapproval if there were any moves to close it."

Meantime, the charges at both the Bunnythorpe and Ashhurst transfer stations have been recommended to double, with a range of different charges for trailers.

Together, the two facilities have been collecting only enough income to cover about one-quarter of their costs, and travelling to Ashhurst to take advantage of the comparatively low fees had been attractive to people from Palmerston North.

Water and waste services manager Rob Green said it was difficult for the council to influence the cost of rubbish disposal while it relied on one privately-operated refuse transfer station in the city, and was locked into a contract with a privately-owned landfill.

The new charges need full council approval, and will be advertised before their introduction on February 1.

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- Manawatu Standard


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