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Official rubbish bag and waste charges to increase in Buller

14 May 2024

Charges for the disposal of refuse at the Westport and Reefton Transfer Stations and Recycling Centres are set to rise from 1 July 2024. The increases will also apply to kerbside rubbish collection services in Zone One.

Official refuse bags will cost $10.90 per bag, up from the current $9.10 per bag. The charge for rubbish dropped off at the Westport and Reefton Transfer Stations will rise from $503.70 per tonne to $606.50 per tonne.

The price change is mainly due to increases in the cost to transport and dispose of waste at York Valley landfill. Whilst the price of official refuse bags is set by the contractor Smart Environmental Limited, the council has carried out a review of the costs. All aforementioned prices include GST.

Residents will still be able to bring any extra recycling to the Transfer Station free of charge, but for larger quantities of recycling (over 250 kg), commercial charges for managing that recycling will apply. The cost for commercial quantities of glass will remain at $100 per tonne.

Green waste can be disposed of for $143 per tonne and scrap metal $40 per tonne (scrap metal is currently accepted free of charge).

Council is currently engaging with the community on the Zone One rubbish collection consultation. Please note that the costs presented in the Statement of Proposal for Zone One Rubbish Collection Consultation are in 2023/24 financial year figures to allow an accurate comparison of options.

Manager Infrastructure Delivery Eric de Boer says: “This price increase has been coming for a long time and it is an expected annual increase.”

“Cost factors for council’s contractor, Smart Environmental Limited (SEL), to collect and dispose of rubbish are increasing across the board, with the highest increase occurring in freight costs required to transport the waste from Buller to the York Valley Landfill in Nelson, and in the handling charges.”

“Refuse charges in Buller cover kerbside collection, the handling fee at the local transfer stations, transportation from Westport and Reefton to the York Valley Landfill in Nelson, as well as the gate fee at the point of disposal ($250 per tonne). On top of these handling and transport costs, there are Emissions Trading Scheme fees and the Waste Levy, which is paid per tonne of waste disposed ($60 per tonne). SEL is unable to avoid passing on some of these costs.

Mr de Boer says: “We are looking at options for how we can minimise the impact of continuing increases in waste management costs on residents. We understand that this is yet another increasing cost for households who already have to manage tight budgets.”

For more information on ways to minimise waste, residents can go to council’s website,


For further information please contact:
Eric de Boer
Manager Infrastructure Delivery