'Pay as you throw' system draws concerns
A new rubbish collection system to be rolled out later this year has sparked concerns amongst west Auckland residents.
Auckland Council said it planned to introduce a "pay as you throw" system by 2020 and Waitakere would be the first to try it.
From October this year, west Auckland households will use their old 140 litre bin for general rubbish and food waste and the orange council rubbish bags will be phased out by the end of this year.
Residents would have to purchase "prepaid tags" and affix them on the bin, to be emptied on their usual collection day. A separate food bin would be introduced further down the track.
And since the 140l bin could fit the equivalent of three 60l council rubbish bags, which retailed for $2.30 per bag, waste and refuse manager Terry Coe estimated each tag would cost less than $7.
But Neighbourly user Anne-Marie Hawke from Massey said the tags could be stolen.
"The council have not give much thought to this method of payment," she said.
But Coe said once a tag was on the bin, the only way to remove it was by breaking it.
"This means that someone who takes a tag off someone else's bin won't be able to use it for themselves."
He said council was developing processes to deal with tag thefts.
Henderson's Norman Burden said there was also the possibility of other people trying to "top up" rubbish in to bins left on the kerb for collection.
Coe said to avoid dumping of rubbish or tags being stolen, residents should put their bins out the night before collection day.
Ashley Turner from Laingolm said she used one rubbish bag every week. Under the new system she would have to wait until her bin was full or affix a tag to put the bin out for collection even when it was mostly empty.
"I don't want to pay $6.90 per collection as I recycle and compost and throw away an absolute minimum away."
Coe said the new service will work out to be cost effective for most residents.
"By paying for each collection you can reduce your refuse collection costs, depending on how much rubbish you produce.
"If you minimise your waste, you will put less into your rubbish bin, saving you money on rubbish disposal."
Dugald Martin from Titirangi said he had a "cautious but positive yes" to the new model.
"If you are throwing away the likes of meat bones, which you can't compost, keep them in a bag in the freezer till the day of blue bin collection."
Mary Nicholson from Avondale said her household did not make a lot of rubbish and hoped the 140l bins would not attract "vermin and scavengers" because of the food waste.
Massey resident Michael Mohr said with the new system his bin would be going to the kerb every 6-to-7 weeks.
"That's a serious health risk. We need a better system."
Coe said recycling food waste into compost would reduce costs, the volume of rubbish and cost to residents.
Coe said to maximise the value of the new pay as you throw rubbish bin service, residents needed to put their rubbish bins out for collection only when they were full and ready for collection, on their normal collection day.
A final price for the prepaid tags would be announced in August, he said.