Disposing of rubbish is not as simple as it used to be

NPDC Senior engineering officer,  Mike Baker inspects a container that will be filled with e-waste and sent to Auckland.
ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

NPDC Senior engineering officer, Mike Baker inspects a container that will be filled with e-waste and sent to Auckland.

Taking a load of old junk to the dump is a thing of the past. These days rubbish needs to be separated out and taken to the transfer station.   

Some people have got the message and pay to dump the broken washing machine, old packs of oil and tvs that are past their use by date separately from bags of general rubbish. 

But finding out where to take what is not entirely straightforward and it costs.   

A cost that has just gone up by more than 10 per cent  - something that New Plymouth District councillor Richard Handley is not happy about.

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"I challenged council that this must be last time we ever put up prices, because we want to change the behaviour and encourage (ratepayers) to take their rubbish to the transfer station. Putting up the price was contrary to all the signals we are currently trying to send to the ratepayers."  

Steve Marsh from Bell Block gets rid of some e-waste at the Colson Rd Transfer Station.
ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

Steve Marsh from Bell Block gets rid of some e-waste at the Colson Rd Transfer Station.

Dropping off a computer monitor to the transfer station is $15 or $20, a microwave $12, stereos $7 and vacuum cleaners, $12.   A small boot or hatch load of general rubbish will set you back $29.20 and if the rubbish fills a large hatchback or a station wagon the charge is $44.   Stoves, washing machines, dishwashers cost $18.40, a fridge $26.30. 

And then there are things like toasters and electric jugs, which can no longer just be dumped in a rubbish bag, but need to be disposed of separately at a cost of $7. 

Handley, who is chairman of the council's zero waste committee, said there was a "kind of revolution" going on around how the community views and manages its waste.   

nviroWaste Colson Rd Refuse Transfer Station site manager Nigel Montgomery checks oil has been disposed correctly.
ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

nviroWaste Colson Rd Refuse Transfer Station site manager Nigel Montgomery checks oil has been disposed correctly.

"It's a huge challenge, but one we need to be up for. We can't keep dumping waste in a hole in the ground, it's expensive, it's wasteful."  

NPDC infrastructure manager David Langford said the council was  always looking at ways to make it easier for people to find the right information so could look at adding more details about disposing of items at the transfer station into the council's waste app.

Taranaki Environmental Education Trust general manager Kati Freeman said the council's app was a useful source for people to use.

Only general waste should be dumped in the pit at the transfer station in Colson Rd.
ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

Only general waste should be dumped in the pit at the transfer station in Colson Rd.

"It's a whole directory of different types of products and whether we should be recycling or send them for reuse.      It's available as an app that residents can download and the information is also on the council's website."

Next year when the Community Reuse and Recycle Centre opens at Colson Rd  the Trust and WISE Better Homes would be able to help residents solve many waste challenges, Freeman said. 

"Residents will be able to drop off unwanted items which will then be available for sale after they've been repaired.  There's lots of valuable components in electrical goods and we're wasting these resources as well as harming the environment if we don't repair and reuse products wherever we can, before ensuring correct recycling at end of life."

Scrap metal is one of the best markets for recycling with companies paying to take fridges, she said.

Still working IT equipment can be donated to places such as the Hospice Shop, listed on Freecycle, or for larger quantities, The Waste Exchange.

Still working electrical goods can be dropped to the Hospice Shop, SPCA op shop, or sold on TradeMe or Neighbourly, Freeman said.

"For items that no longer work, we encourage residents to use local repair services to get further use out of their items before they're recycled."

 - Stuff

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