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Frequently asked questions from the public consultation in March/April 2018

A: Yes. We are sending too much recyclable and compostable material to landfill. On average over 68% of kerbside waste could be recycled or composted rather than sent to landfill. Tauranga’s recycling rates lag behind other cities in NZ (and the world) -  we need to do the right thing and improve how we manage our waste.
A: Currently there is little incentive or encouragement to get people to recycle or compost, or reduce their waste. Private, user-pay services mean some people choose not to have organic waste or recycling bins and send all their waste to landfill, and those that chose the convenience of a full waste service (rubbish, recycling and organic waste) pay more than they should to do the right thing.

A rates-funded service would enable Council to have greater influence over the range of materials that could be recycled, which is not currently possible with privately managed services, and ensures that households do not pay more than they should to do the right thing.

A: The full service kerbside collection is likely to cost $250 plus GST per property per year. This would start part-way through the 2020/21 financial year with a partial impact on the rates, with the full year impact commencing in the 2021/22 year. Across the two years the impact on the total rate requirement (shared by residential and non-residential ratepayers) is 7.2%. The average property will therefore see an increase of approximately 7.2% spread over those two financial years.
A: The glass collection has been estimated at $26 per property per year until the full kerbside collection is introduced (if adopted). This would be a flat charge so that everyone pays the same amount regardless of the value of the property. 
A: We’d like to start it as soon as possible, however it takes a couple of years to complete the full procurement process. The Long Term Plan (LTP) won’t be finalised until 28 June 2018, then we need to determine the details of service (such as what we’ll collect, size and type of bins, user-pays approach, etc.), incorporating LTP feedback from the community and industry, and develop a tender document for the collection service provider contract(s). We’ll need to allow several months for companies to respond with details about how they will deliver the service and achieve the outcomes we want. After we have evaluated the tender submissions, selected the best tenderer(s) and completed any negotiations, we will need to allow them at least 12 months to get ready to start their contract(s). It’s likely they will need to purchase/upgrade trucks, set up recycling contracts for different materials, develop collection and monitoring systems, secure staff, etc. With big, complex contracts like this, it takes time to get things right.
A:  The conservative estimate of a 20% increase in waste diversion from landfill with this proposed service has been calculated by global environmental company, SLR Consulting. They draw their findings from a vast amount of expertise and experience as well as from data and research on proven, similar service models already in operation in other cities in NZ and around the world.
A: The other main kerbside option is privately funded collection services. We have that now and it is not achieving good recovery rates.
A: The key factor in successful, city-wide recycling is that the service is provided for everyone. A mix or partial service would still leave people with the option of putting all their waste in landfill. However, it is likely that private services will still be available in the city for those who need them.

It is likely that private services will still be available in the city for those that decide they need more, or different, bins to those provided in the proposed service.
A: TCC currently delivers nine different waste education programmes on topics such as worm composting, waste-free parenting/living, waste education for schools, and food waste. Some of these programmes have been running for many years (education in schools, 20 years) and yet almost 70% of an average kerbside rubbish bin could be recycled instead of sent to landfill.

Community education is important but it is not enough on its own to minimise Tauranga’s waste to landfill. Access to collection services and infrastructure is essential to ensuring the community education provided can result in behaviour change and resource recovery.

A: We need to do what’s right for the environment and the city as a whole. There are some people who are already doing the right thing and that’s great, but we need the whole community to do better.
 
Not every resident wants to pay for every rates-funded service (for example, some might never use a library, others a skate park), but rates ensure that the needs of the city, as a whole, are met. This proposal for rates-funded kerbside collections is about what’s right for the environment and the city - as a whole. 
A: Not for the average resident. The three-bin modelled option has shown that it is likely to cost between $236 and $247 per household annually (1mb pdf). As Tauranga residents currently pay an average of $329 per household annually (2mb pdf) for private kerbside collection services, this means residents will be paying about $80 less per annum with a Council-led service. 

Or instead of a flat rate for all households, a combination approach of a flat rate and user-pays could be considered. This would encourage households to reduce the amount of rubbish they create and reward those who do with a lower charge.

A: To be effective this service needs to be delivered city-wide. A mix or partial service would still leave people with the option of putting all their waste in landfill and not maximising their recycling.
A: Waste audits show that 54% of Tauranga’s average kerbside waste collection contains organic (garden and food waste). So even if your household doesn’t create much, city-wide this is the single, largest component of waste that we have opportunity to divert from landfill. In landfill organic waste breaks down to create toxic methane and leachate which is damaging to the environment, and very costly to deal with (these costs are passed onto customers). It could be composted to benefit our local farms and orchards instead.
A: Tauranga’s waste water system is designed to handle liquid wastes with only small amount of solid waste - large quantities of food waste may block sewers and cause overflows into the environment.  Also, food waste in the waste water system has to be treated differently to conventional waste and the resulting sludge has to be trucked to landfill anyway. So putting food waste down the sink is an expensive and risky way to manage food waste.

Disposal via the sink also wastes a resource that could be turned into compost to improve soil condition instead. 

A: This issue has been solved in other cities with wheelie bin services and we are confident it can be solved in Tauranga. We will look at different options to best manage this if the community and Council agree, in principle, to a rates-funded service. 
A: It is likely that collections will be staggered so that no more than two bins will be put out for collection at a time. For instance, mixed recycling bins and organic waste bins might be put out on alternate weeks.
A: This issue has been solved in other cities with multi-bin services and we are confident it can be solved in Tauranga. We will look at different options to best manage this if the community and Council agree in principle to a rates-funded service.
A: If a rates-funded solution is introduced, it would not be until 2020/21 at the earliest. We would give households and operators plenty of notice so they can align their private contracts with the new service starting.

Last Reviewed: 08/06/2018
 

 
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