Council's got a brand new bag

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 09:04 30/07/2014
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DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ
TESTING: Marlborough District Council customer service officers Claire Fahey, left, and Cleone Stringer give the trial rubbish bags a workout.

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The Marlborough District Council is asking for families to volunteer to test its new rubbish bags.

Council solid waste manager Alec McNeil said yesterday that the council bought 800,000 black plastic rubbish bags each year.

The supplier of the bags was changing this year, and he wanted to test the new supplier's product to make sure it could stand up to the job, he said.

This was where 25 Marlborough families on the kerbside collection routes came in.

The council wants at least five families on each of the rubbish collection routes to become "bag testers" for the new bags.

Each of the 25 households in the trial will get 10 bags to put to the test over a two month period, McNeil said.

"We want the trial bags to be used normally - not to be purposely over-loaded or given any other special treatment."

Everyone in the trial would either get a sheet and be asked to keep a log or fill out an online survey.

Bags in the trial would be collected at the usual time but the kerbside collection team would know which households were participating in the survey as the trial bags are plain black without any of the council markings on the official rubbish bags.

McNeil said the council wasn't expecting any problems, but it wanted to make sure the new bags were up to the use Marlborough homes would be making of them. The bags were already used in Auckland, Northland and Wellington, he said.

"There is a huge range of products available out there and we just want to make sure that what we've contracted is fit for purpose. The supplier is happy [for them] to be tested."

The new bags would be delivered to all homes from July next year when the new supply contract kicked in, McNeil said. The council ordered its 800,000 rubbish bags every December.

The supply contract was tendered out earlier this year. Nine companies bid and Hi-Tech Packaging from Auckland was selected.

Every household on the kerbside collection routes is given 52 bags each year, and extra bags can be bought at the council either individually or in rolls of 10.

Any family wanting to take part in the trial can contact McNeil through the council, 03 520 7400.

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- The Marlborough Express

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