Green bin pick-up fortnightly?

RISING COSTS: Collecting rubbish costs 10 per cent of the council's budget.
RISING COSTS: Collecting rubbish costs 10 per cent of the council's budget.

Changes to kerbside rubbish collections in the city could be on the cards as the city council moves to reduce its costs.

Over the past 10 years the cost to the council of collecting and disposing of household rubbish has jumped from around 4 per cent of its budget to 10 per cent.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel now wants the council to examine whether there are more cost effective ways to provide the service.

Dalziel said one option that had been raised by staff was to reduce the frequency of which green wheelie bins (for organic waste) were collected from one week to two weeks, but councillors were not keen to go down that track until they had more information on the impacts and benefits that would accrue.

What they were proposing instead was to conduct a localised trial into more efficient refuse collection options.

"We want to work with a local community to see what the most efficient collection of refuse would be that would have a financial impact across the city ... and also produce a better result,'' Dalziel said.

Christchurch residents spoken to by The Press were divided.

Vanessa Howorth, of Shirley, said she did not agree with fortnightly collections ''purely because of garden waste'' and the smaller green bins.

''If you're going to do it every fortnight, I'd prefer a big bin without the costs. I'm a family of four . . . we go through a lot, so I still prefer the one week," she said. 

The idea would become more of a problem with the transition of seasons, Howorth said.

''We have quite a big garden . . . what are you going to do with lawn clippings come summer time? Every week you're mowing the lawns and if you're [collecting bins] every fortnight, you've got nowhere to put everything.''

Ashleigh Jackson said smell was another problem the council should address before making any final decisions.

"I am thinking that it's probably a negative idea, especially in winter time because you're not putting grass clippings in - it would just be your food. I think the smell is probably going to be bugging most people," she said.

Retired Huntsbury couple Anne and Bernie Ryan said the proposed idea would not affect them much, but felt the council could offer alternatives.

"We would compost more, which is probably what you should do anyway,'' Bernie Ryan said.

"They should at least allow either free green waste dropping off at the refuse centres.''

Councillors voted to push ahead with that trial and to also get a full report on how efficiences could be made to the refuse collection.

The Press