Collingwood set to lose rubbish centre

HELEN MURDOCH
Last updated 12:44 07/07/2014

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A trip to the tip will see Collingwood residents have to travel to Takaka from next July, as the Tasman District Council moves to close the small Golden Bay community's resource recovery centre.

The future of the Collingwood and Murchison recovery centres was discussed by councillors when utilities network engineer David Stephenson presented figures showing that use of both had dropped.

Ratepayers were subsidising 89 per cent of Collingwood's costs and 75 per cent of the cost of keeping the Murchison centre open, Stephenson's report said.

Both centres are open three days a week, and commercial operators service both communities.

In his report, Stephenson said closing the Murchison site was likely to lead to an increase in the illegal dumping of rubbish on public land and riverbanks.

Relying solely on commercial operators would not give the residents of either community the option of recycling their waste, he said, which would see more rubbish sent directly to the council's landfill.

Staff had looked at closing both sites, and considered it feasible to close Collingwood because of its proximity to Takaka, but felt Murchison should remain open in the short to medium term, the report said.

There were options to extend kerbside recycling services around both communities to give residents greater waste disposal options.

Moutere-Waimea councillor Trevor Norriss asked why the council should provide another service with kerbside recyling when commercial operators serviced both communities.

Golden Bay councillor Paul Sangster said volumes going to resource recovery centres were falling because prices were rising. He also queried the logic of trucking loose green waste from Golden Bay. He asked why the council could not supply some form of recycling service for Collingwood commercial operators one day a week.

There was already a lot of illegal dumping going on in Golden Bay, especially around the Takaka River, he said.

"The river takes it away when there is a flood, but right now there are fridges and washing machines, plastic and bottles and rubbish bags."

Utilities asset manager Jeff Cuthbertson said the council spent around $20,000 clearing rubbish from the banks of the Takaka River two years ago. "And now it's back to where we were."

Deputy mayor Tim King said the council might have to acknowledge that the extra cost of providing remote rubbish services was part of managing a district with small, far-flung communities.

Councillors agreed to ask staff to plan for the closure of the Collingwood centre from next July, and to review the cost of extending kerbside recycling services around Collingwood and Murchison.

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- The Nelson Mail

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