Quake victim refused rubbish collection
Christchurch Earthquake 2011
Fendalton pensioner Malcolm Ott pays more than $4500 in rates but can't get his rubbish collected.
Ott's Wairarapa Tce home of 50 years is a writeoff because of earthquake damage, but he does not want to upset his neighbours by leaving the section untended, so he has been going there regularly to tidy it.
The city council will not pick up his rubbish as he is getting a 40 per cent discount on his rates because his home is uninhabitable.
Rubbish collection is part of that rebate, but Ott still pays more than $4500 a year in local taxes.
His home is one of the few in the street that is slated for demolition, so each week the rubbish trucks rumble past his property on their way to empty the bins his neighbours have put out.
He has offered to pay the council the $144.12 it calculates as the cost of collecting household rubbish each year, but has been told by council staff he cannot do that.
Unhappy with that answer, an immaculately dressed Ott, walking cane in hand, took his case to the councillors.
Politely but firmly he told them he found it offensive that at the time when he needed his rubbish collection most, they had taken it away from him.
Praising Ott for his diligence in keeping his property tidy, councillors said his situation was an unintended consequence of a policy decision they had made this year and would be fixed.
"There's probably more costs in the administration of not collecting his rubbish than in collecting it," Cr Sally Buck told council chief executive Tony Marryatt, who promised to investigate.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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