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Zone one rubbish collection consultation

Council proposed changes to the way that rubbish collection services are delivered and funded in Zone one from 1 July 2025.

This proposal applies only to the rubbish collection service for households in Zone one. Zone one covers Westport, the areas from Westport to the North until Mōkihinui Bridge, including  Seddonville, Granity and Waimangaroa, Cape Foulwind, Charleston, Fox River and Punakaiki to the South and Buller Gorge Road, Inangahua, Reefton, Blackball, Ikamatua to the East.   

The current waste management level of service offered in zones two and three are not proposed to change. 

What did we consult on?

Council proposed changes to how rubbish collection services are delivered and funded in zone one from 1 July 2025. There were four options to consider through the consultation.

The options do not include the current recycling rate of $178,—incl GST as of the 2023/24 financial year. They have been estimated in today’s dollars for the purposes of consultation on a comparison between differing levels of rubbish collection service. The recycling rate will continue to be in addition to these costs.   

The option Council decides on will be rolled out for all households in Zone one with rubbish collection. 

The consultation closed on 20 May, and staff is consolidating the submissions for the hearings in June. After the deliberations, Council will make a decision at the end of June. 

Current cost to the ratepayer: 

Bags 

  • $9.10 per 60 litre bag 
  • $236.60 per annum (for one 60 litre bag per fortnight) 
  • $473.20 per annum (for one 60 litre bag per week) 
  • $946.40 per annum (for two 60 litre bags per week) 

120 litre wheelie bin 

  • $28.50 per pick up 
  • $741.00 per annum (collected fortnightly) 

240 litre wheelie bin 

  • $39.30 per pick up 
  • $1,021.80 per annum (collected fortnightly) 

Advantages  

  • Users only pay for what they use, via pre-purchased bags, bin tags payment methods can be introduced by the contractor. 
  • Wheelie bins can allow fortnightly collection instead of weekly, this will be defined by the contractor to optimise the delivery service.     
  • Households that minimise waste (produce less than one bag per fortnight) will pay less.  

Disadvantages  

  • Households are required to purchase pre-paid rubbish bags or arrange for a wheelie bin service from a private contractor. 
  • Price per household is likely to be higher for Pay As You Throw compared to Targeted Rate funded service for the higher users and rubbish generators. 
  • Increased illegal dumping risks if Contractor-set pricing too high.  
  • Households are likely to minimise the number of times they put their bin or bag out, potentially resulting in smelly rubbish.  
  • If pre-paid tags are used for wheelie bins, some may get stolen. 
  • Bag collections result in more health and safety issues for the contractor. 
  • Service inefficiency as routes operate regardless of collection quantity.

Estimated cost to the ratepayer: 

120 litre wheelie bin 

  • $24.50 per pick up   
  • $637 per annum (collected fortnightly) 

240 litre wheelie bin 

  • $34.50 per pick up 
  • $897 per annum (collected fortnightly). 

Advantages  

  • Users only pay for what they use, via pre-purchased bin tags.  
  • Wheelie bins can allow fortnightly collection instead of weekly.  
  • Improved H&S and environmental containment versus current rubbish bags.  

Disadvantages 

  • Households are required to arrange for a wheelie bin service from a private contractor. 
  • Price per household is likely to be higher for Pay As You Throw compared to Targeted Rate funded service.  
  • Increased illegal dumping risks if Contractor-set pricing too high.  
  • Households are likely to minimise the number of times they put their bin out, potentially resulting in smelly rubbish. 
  • If pre-paid tags are used for wheelie bins, some may get stolen.  
  • Service inefficiency as routes operate regardless of collection quantity.  

Estimated cost to the ratepayer: 

120 litre wheelie bin 

  • $17.00 per pick up 
  • $442.00 per annum (collected fortnightly) 

The initial cost for the bin is included in the cost per pick up or the per annum charge. There will be no one-off charge to users for the bin.

Advantages  

  • Users only pay for what they use, via pre-purchased bin tags.   
  • Each household will receive a 120 litre wheelie bin. 
  • Wheelie bins can allow fortnightly collection.  
  • Improved H&S and environmental containment versus current rubbish bags.  

Disadvantages 

  • Upfront Council establishment and ongoing administration costs as well as the management for collection services.  
  • Service inefficiency as routes operate regardless of collection quantity.  
  • Price per household is likely to be higher for Pay As You Throw compared to Targeted Rate funded service. 
  • Higher collection costs may result in illegal dumping. 
  • Households are likely to minimise the number of times they put their bin out, potentially resulting in smelly rubbish. 
  • If pre-paid tags are used for wheelie bins, some may get stolen. 
  • Council needs to account for the procurement of wheelie bins.  This cost will need to be recovered either over the life of the bins or the life of the contract. 

Estimated cost to the ratepayer:

80 litre wheelie bin 

  • $245 per annum (collected fortnightly)  

120 litre wheelie bin 

$295 per annum (collected fortnightly) 

240 litre wheelie bin 

  • $435 per annum (collected fortnightly) 

The initial cost for the bin is included in the annum charge via rates. There will be no one-off charge to users for the bin.

Advantages 

  • Several bin size options available (80 litre, 120 litre, 240 litre) and potential for optimised cost structures. 
  • Each household will receive a 120 litre wheelie bin unless they opt for a different size. 
  • Households that minimise waste can opt for a smaller bin at a lower cost. 
  • The availability of a refuse bin for residents with regular pick-up times, that is already charged for via rates, is likely to lead to a more appropriate disposal of waste and may potentially reduce illegal dumping.  
  • Improved H&S and environmental containment versus current rubbish bags. Households do not need to purchase pre-paid rubbish bags or arrange for a wheelie bin service from a private contractor. 
  • Price per household is likely to be lower for fortnightly collection compared to weekly collection.  
  • This is a common approach across New Zealand. 

Disadvantages 

  • Upfront Council establishment and ongoing administration costs as well as the management of the collection services. 
  • Not a user pays model, Council rates paid regardless of service level required or used.    
  • No cost incentive to minimise household rubbish disposal within bin size capacity.  
  • Landlords will pay for their tenant's rubbish collection and may pass this on through an increase in rent. 
  •  Council needs to account for the procurement of wheelie bins.  This cost will need to be recovered either over the life of the bins or the life of the contract.
  • Illegal dumping may still continue from some sectors of the community. 

Frequently asked questions

Please read our frequently asked questions about the Zone one rubbish collection consultation.

The table below displays the key dates for the decision-making process as per the Local Government Act 2002.

Date

What happens?

Friday 12 April 

Submissions open.

Monday 20 May 

Submissions close.

Wednesday 5 June - Friday 7 June

Submission hearings. If you indicated on your submission form that you wish to make a verbal submission, you will be contacted with a time to speak closer to the date. This is an opportunity to provide additional information to Councillors.

Tuesday 11 June - Thursday 13 June

Deliberations. Councillors will consider all submissions.

Wednesday 26 June 

Council to make a decision. 

1 July 2024 onwards

Once a decision is made, an open tender process will be undertaken to contract the company providing the rubbish collection in Zone one from 1 July 2025.

Under the requirements of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 Buller District Council must promote effective and efficient waste management and minimisation within the District. This is achieved by: 

  • Having a Regional Waste Minimisation and Management Plan. 
  • Providing a rubbish and recycling collection for zone one households in Westport and Reefton. 
  • Providing for a rubbish and recyclable materials drop off at transfer stations in Westport and  Reefton and at Maruia and Karamea small landfills. 

Council is using estimated costs based on today’s prices (2023/24) for the consultation since the actual costs can only be confirmed as an outcome of the open tender process. The open tender process will seek proposals from companies New Zealand-wide to provide the rubbish collection in Zone one from 1 July 2025.

The prices used for the consultation have been estimated as accurately as possible, considering the amount of waste generated in Zone one, freight costs, handling costs, disposal costs, and other charges involved in rubbish collection and waste management in Zone one. 

Council needs to decide on behalf of the community and choose an option and provider that represents the best value for our entire community. Council will consider ongoing affordability and value as major factors when selecting the final option and successful provider. 

To ensure that the option remains fit for purpose, Council will review all aspects of the rubbish collection service, including price, at each contract renewal date. Currently, Council plans to sign a 10-year contract with the successful provider. 

No matter what option Council chooses, market influences such as inflation, government regulations, and other external factors will influence future prices.  

A kerbside rubbish collection service is currently offered via a private commercial operation managed and operated by Smart Environmental Ltd.

The service is a Pay As You Throw model using either 60 litre official rubbish bags or a private wheelie bin service on a periodic basis. The official rubbish bags are currently sold for $9.10 incl. GST.  Bin costs vary depending on the bin size and collection frequency and the prices are set by Smart Environmental Ltd. This service is self-funding and not subsidised by Council. 

If a pay-as-you-throw system is favoured post-consultation, the procurement process will explore the most effective technological solutions, considering market evidence and operational feasibility.

One option is the implementation of a mobile barcode or RFID system.

This system is still under assessment in New Zealand. Trials have shown that these technologies face challenges, such as damage or dirt on the barcodes or RFID tags, which can affect their functionality.

A number of issues were identified and presented to Council in July 2023, which suggest it is timely to make a change to kerbside household collections: 

  • The waste collection sector is moving away from bags to wheelie bins for health and safety reasons. Wheelie bins reduce the risk of infection from waste and manual handling injuries. 
  • The Ministry for the Environment has announced the standardisation of household collection services focussed on recyclable materials and food waste. 
  • There is ongoing illegal dumping across the district and providing a consistent service for all households is anticipated to reduce illegal dumping. 
  • By controlling services, Council is able to invest on behalf of the community to capture more materials for recycling and recovery. 
  • By providing a universal household collection service to the specified areas of the Buller District, Council is able to manage costs for each household. 

The New Zealand waste collection sector  is telling us they prefer to move away from bags to wheelie bins for health and safety reasons.  Wheelie bins reduce the risk of infection from waste and manual handling injuries. Because of the increased risk of infections and manual handling injuries and they are not tendering for contracts that specify rubbish bag collection.

Council’s procurement policy requires an open tender process for such a large contract. The contract will be open for tender once Council chooses a preferred option considering the community’s feedback. 

Once a supplier has been selected, the actual costs of rubbish collection in Zone One will be included in Council’s fees and charges for the Long-Term Plan 2025 – 2034, which will come into effect on 1 July 2025. 

Council agreed at its July 2023 meeting to consult with the community on a proposed change in the delivery of Zone 1 Rubbish Collection.  The consultation took place from 7 August to 8 September 2023 and proposed four key changes: 

  • A shift from using 60 litre rubbish bags to having a 120 litre wheelie bin provided by Council.
  • Mandatory rubbish and recycling collection. 
  • Changing from weekly to fortnightly rubbish collection. 
  • Paying for rubbish and recycling collection through rates (rather than buying rubbish bags) i.e. a targeted universal rate charge.

Written and oral submissions highlighted a range of views from the community including some supporting a shift to collection of rubbish in wheelie bins, concerns about a shift away from the current ‘pay as you throw’ approach, concerns about making rubbish collection mandatory and few specific comments about Council delivering the rubbish collection through a third party.  

The consultation resulted in a range of submissions and public views and feedback on the proposal. Overall, 73% of the submitters were opposed to the proposal. 

Council is evaluating various disposal options, including McLeans Landfill.

This assessment involves thorough analysis to ensure that any selected option meets both environmental and regulatory requirements.

The outcomes of the consultation and subsequent options and scenarios were presented in a report to Council on 13 December 2023.

The first decision Council needed to make was whether to maintain the delivery of Zone 1 Rubbish Collection through the private sector (which is the status quo), or for Council to take over to provide the service via a delivery contractor. 

The second decision was whether to continue with a bag collection or to introduce wheelie bins.

The third decision was whether to introduce the new service without further community consultation, to reconsult with the community on the recommended options using estimated costs or to reconsult with the community using tender prices.  

At the December 2023 meeting, Council decided to consult on four options for the Zone 1 rubbish collection. Two of these options are private sector-driven (Option Status Quo and Option 2), and the other two are council-driven (Option 3 and Option 4). 

The Council December 2023 meeting agenda can be found here.  

Council resolved to reconsult with the community on the recommended options using estimated costs.