Whanganui council seeks public support for recycling, rubbish collection

By Zaryd Wilson, Zaryd Wilson

The council will gauge what public support it has for getting back into waste collection. Photo / Bevan Conley
The council will gauge what public support it has for getting back into waste collection. Photo / Bevan Conley

Whanganui could get universal kerbside recycling and the council may again offer rubbish collection if there is enough public support.

Whanganui District Council will carry out a household survey to test that support for both a ratepayer funded fortnightly recycling pick up and a weekly, user-funded, rubbish bag collection.

A report to council's strategy and finance committee estimates kerbside recycling would cost about $60 a year per residential ratepayer, which would add about 1.5 per cent to rates.

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Council waste adviser Stuart Hylton said it had considered getting back into waste collection several times in recent years but it "hasn't got over the line".

"When it comes down to it, it is a rate increase and that's not popular. I think this requires leadership and I think going out with a preferred option is the leadership the community requires," he said.

This latest discussion follows Envirowaste's decision to stop collecting rubbish bags in the city which is a move also being considered by Waste Management, the only other private waste collection company.

Envirowaste is also putting a stop to its recycling collection from April.

The council's waste minimisation working party met last month and decided the council should look at providing waste collection where the market had failed.

Yesterday the strategy and finance committee discussed a broader survey canvassing several options for council waste services, but in the end decided to go to the public with a preference.

Councillor Rob Vinsen said a similar survey in 2010 gave too many options and resulted in inconclusive feedback.

"There will definitely have to be a preferred option for council to move this on."

Councillor Josh Chandulal-Mackay said everyone "from the far right to the radical left" supported kerbside rubbish collection but it would come down to how it was done and its effect on rates.

A survey will be drafted and come to the committee again before going out to the public.

- Whanganui Chronicle

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