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Do you have any idea how much you are going to pay?

A challenge from one resident by Sarah Armstrong.

As many of you would have seen, Thames Coromandel District Council (TCDC) has published their proposed budget and plans for the next year. As part of that plan TCDC are implementing a new ‘Pay As You Throw’ rubbish system, costing an estimated $2,039.238. This will include the introduction of a new 140L rubbish bin which will be collected every two weeks and a 25L food waste bin to be collected every week.

Like the current system, the transport and kerbside collection disposal costs will be covered by a combination of a solid waste targeted rate charged to all properties in the service area via your rates bill, and PAYT charges. You will use a pre-paid system (tags purchased from usual retailers) for when you place your bin kerbside for collection.

Ratepayers in an area of service will be charged an increased targeted solid waste rate via their rates bill, compared with what they currently pay. There are three options. The council’s preferred option is 2. Cost to collect your 140L rubbish bin is $8.00 per kerbside pickup.

PAYT pre-paid system costing $8 including GST per 140L bin empty and a targeted solid waste rate increase (for those in an area of service) of 76 per cent. This is less than Option 1 (86 per cent), but more than Option 3 (67 per cent).

I have been talking to locals and have started a poll on local Facebook pages. The majority of comments over 80% are that many people don’t want the 140L rubbish bins and say that they are far too big. Like many other small families, it takes us 3 or 4 weeks to fill a rubbish bin and currently that costs us $3.90 with our blue bag. With that time frame in mind, it will take us and many others over 4 weeks to fill a 140L wheelie so that we get value for the $8.00 it will cost to have it collected. That fee is fine if the bin is full but I am not prepared to pay $8.00 if my bin is half full. But I don’t want my rubbish hanging around for four weeks or more, and many bach owners will struggle to fill up a 140L bin in less than a month or more. With that in mind, my rubbish collection fee will double.

The practicalities of the 140L bin make in unworkable. Other waste management contractors around the country have told councils that they don’t like the system and feel it is unworkable. Why are the councils and government officials not listening to the home owners and contractors?

Food waste bins are causing a health hazard in other countries and will inevitably cause problems here in New Zealand.

We will see Bach owners and renters put a food waste bin on the kerb for pick up and like many blue bags previously, stay there for days before collect day. Having food waste bins on the side of the road will cause fly infestation, rat and mouse problems not to mention attracting cats and dogs. They are supposed to be pest proof but the UK and other countries have proven that is not the case. Do you want to be walking or cycling past maggot and fly infected bins on a lovely hot summers day, I certainly don’t!

If the councils are concerned about blue bags being left on the side of the road to be pulled apart by seagulls, dog etc. then they need to insist that all property owners buy a proper rubbish bin with a lid so that the bag is inside the bin and then collected by the contractors in one piece. We have one and we have never had seagulls etc pull our bag apart, and the contractors seem quite happy to take the bag out of the bin.

That system worked for decades and is still in use around the world. The cost will be on the owner to provide a bin and we will not see nappies, rubbish and more scattered across out pavements and roads.

You can’t opt out of having the bins and you will pay for them in your rates.

Sarah Armstrong has done some solid work on this one important area of the Draft Annual plan. She is inviting you to get involved in this matter that effects all of us –“Kerbside collection pricing options for our new rubbish wheelie bins and food waste bins”

Thames Coromandel District Council would like to hear your thoughts on this matter and other areas they have prepared proposals on:-

  • Our proposed average rates for 2023/24

  • Storm recovery and how it has affected our budgets

  • Deferring the Pollen Street Infrastructure project to help our businesses recover

  • Our updated capital works (CAPEX) and operational (OPEX) programmes, which are making room in our budget for storm events we’ve not yet costed

  • Changes to our schedule of fees and charges

Note: It clearly states on TCDC website - For those who can’t respond online, “hard copies are available at our Council service centres and district libraries. Staff there will be able to help you make your submission if you need assistance.” You have until April 10.


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