Assault helped end bin project

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2014

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A council-initiated programme has been cut short because of a series of reasons.

The Summer Recycling Bin Inspection Programme, run by WasteNet, which is operated by the Invercargill City, Gore District and Southland District councils was halted last week, despite being scheduled to continue until the middle of February.

The programme involved staff being employed during the summer to gothrough recycling bins and inspect them for material that was not supposed to be recycled.

However, in December two women working for the programme had to call police after they were abused by residents angry about the programme.

The students were left shaken after a group of men approached them in Appleby and a man slammed one of the workers' fingers in a bin.

Invercargill City Council solid waste manager Malcolm Loan said that was not the sole reason the programme had ended.

One of the four people employed got another job with the city council and another had personal circumstances that  required them to take leave and it "made sense" to cut the programme short, Mr Loan said.

He conceded the Appleby situation had made the employees feel uneasy about the situation.

"I think they were just getting a little bit worried about the situation, too: I think both the Invercargill City Council and girls."

Mr Loan said the employees who wanted to continue working had been given other tasks to do within the recycling station involving data collection for the remainder of the programme.

The programme had been a positive tool for education and lots of residents had given positive feedback. How successful the programme was, however, would not be known for several weeks, Mr Loan said.

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