Mon, Apr 22, 2024 9:55 AM

Dumping rubbish bags to cost $3 when wheelie bins rolled out


Maia Hart

A shake-up for Marlborough’s waste services includes a hike in dump fees, and the ability to dump rubbish bags at the landfill for $3.

And a “remote transfer station” planned for a rural area of Marlborough has been switched for wheelie bins instead.

Marlborough District Council solid waste manager Mark Lucas outlined the new charges at an assets and services committee last week. The changes are subject to full council approval next month and expected to start on July 1, the same date that wheelie bin collection would start.

The wheelie bins would replace council rubbish bag collection in Blenheim, Renwick, Grovetown, Havelock, Picton, Rārangi, Rai Valley, Seddon, Spring Creek and Tua Marina.

Mark said there had been a lot of feedback about the council bags being removed, and options for rural residents not getting wheelie bins.

Council rubbish bags, which cost $1.85 for an individual bag, $18.50 for a pack of 10, or packs of $96.00 for a pack of 52, could be disposed of at Blenheim’s Bluegums Landfill for free.

“We're increasing our kerbside collection area by approximately 3500 to 4000 properties, so if you imagine each of them using a council bag, that's 3500 to 4000 requiring a bag each week.

“Council rubbish bags will always be accepted at the transfer stations for free.”

But the bags were only available while current stocks lasted, according to a council statement put out in February. So, Mark proposed introducing the option for people to pay $3 a bag, for domestic waste up to 15kg or 60 litres, similar to the current council rubbish bags.

Blenheim ward councillor Jamie Arbuckle has questioned the $3 bag charge. (File photo). Photo: Stuff/Supplied.

Blenheim ward councillor Jamie Arbuckle questioned if charging for bags was setting the council up to fail.

He said he did not understand why the council had gone from charging for weight, to charging for bags.

“The way I do this is I rock up with 10 bags, if I have to put 10 bags and pay $30, it's going to go on a trailer and I'm just going to pay for weight,” Jamie said.

Marlborough mayor Nadine Taylor thought the idea was “nice and simple”.

“It's really building in a service, I think you would say, for those outliers that aren't serviced,” she said.

But Mark said he would encourage people to go the “cheapest way”.

“So, if it's cheaper to put it on a trailer, take it in a trailer,” he said.

“If it's cheaper to put it in a bag, put it in a bag.”

He pointed out using a trailer had a minimum weigh charge (up to 30kg) of $7.50 from July 1. That charge was up 12% from $6.67 and would impact about 12% of users, according to a report from Lucas.

General refuse per tonne was proposed to increase from $222.18 to $250.50. At other transfer stations, excluding Blenheim, users paid based on measuring the load. The current charge for this was $64.33 per cubic metre and would increase to $69.50.

Green waste charges are on the rise in Blenheim. Photo: Supplied/Stuff

Grass waste disposal costs would increase by $28.32 per tonne, a 16 per cent increase on the current gate fee.

The charges were “predominantly attributable” to the changes in the waste disposal levy.

“Contract cost escalations for the transfer stations and the kerbside collections are also contributing factors,” Mark's report said.

“Cost recovery for these increases is via increased gate fees, and amendment to the kerbside refuse collection targeted rate.”

The wheelie bin boundary in Marlborough is extending slightly. Photo: Maia Hart/LDR

Properties in Rapaura, Fairhall, on Old Renwick Rd between Waipuna St and Rose Manor, Dillons Point Rd, the Summerset Retirement Village and three houses on Middle Renwick Rd had also been confirmed as receiving wheelie bins.

This extension to the boundary was first mooted last year and required the council to individually write to all properties affected.

It meant Rapaura would not be getting a remote transfer station, which would have included bins for recycling and rubbish, and a skip for colour-sorted glass, saving $50,000.

LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air.

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