Rubbish, recycling scheme proposal

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 27/02/2014

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Ratepayers' rubbish bills will almost triple as the council moves to shake up New Plymouth's garbage system.

At the moment ratepayers in the district pay $67 a year to have a weekly kerbside collection of one plastic bag of rubbish and as many shopping bags of recycling as they like.

However, the Colson Rd dump is almost bursting at the seams and in less than six years the council will have to shut the gates.

In an effort to reduce the amount of waste the council will truck to a new landfill in Eltham, a new rubbish and recycling system is on the horizon.

This, coupled with the imminent loss of income from the Colson Rd dump will see ratepayers' rubbish bills jump from $67 this year to $191 in 2019.

If instituted now this would add an extra $120, or about 6 per cent, to the average rates bill.

At a monitoring committee meeting this week councillors accepted the proposal for the new kerbside collection project, which places greater emphasis on recycling. It will now go to a full council meeting on March 18.

If the council rejects the move towards recycling and sticks with the current system then by 2019 ratepayers would be paying $222 per year for kerbside rubbish collection.

The new kerbside collection would see about 26,500 properties in New Plymouth receive 52 council-issued rubbish bags a year, along with two new recycling bins which would be emptied on alternating weeks.

A 240 litre wheelie bin would be used for mixed recyclables and a 60L recycling crate for glass.

About 65 per cent of households currently put recycling out at the gate, but with the new bins it is expected to increase to 90 per cent .

Water and waste boss Mark Hall said recycling was not only good for the environment but it would reduce the number of trips the council needed to make to the new landfill in Eltham, and the number of times they had to pay to get through the gate.

South Taranaki and Stratford councils have been able to use the Colson Rd facility, owned by the NPDC, since 2006 but have had to pay.

Now, in turn, when the new landfill opens on Rotokare Rd in Eltham, the NPDC will have to pay the STDC a gate charge.

The expected increase in recyclables will be catered for in the new $6 million rubbish and recycling centre to be built next to the current transfer station in Colson Rd.

The resource recovery facility will include a largely automated sorting and packing unit for recyclables, and a rubbish transfer station.

The facility will bring New Plymouth in line with other cities around the country.

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Ratepayers will bear the cost of operating the facility, though it will be subsidised through the sale of recyclable materials.

Mr Hall said until the council signed off on the new collection proposal he could not say how much two new recycling bins for 26,500 properties would cost.

Money for the new bins would come from the Solid Waste Development fund, which currently has $12m in it, with $6m committed to the construction of the new resource recovery facility.

The fund will also give $1.5m to the operating costs of the project up until the end of 2017.

If passed by council the new collection system is expected to be rolled out in October next year.

- Taranaki Daily News

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