Korero Mai: Rāpihi me te hangarua
Talk with us: Rubbish and recycling
We have taken a fresh look at the way we manage rubbish and recycling. We live in a windy city and every recycling day paper and other material finds its way into our streams, stormwater drains and harbour - eventually washing up on our beaches. We need to do better for our environment and our community.
We need to change the way rubbish is collected too. Rubbish bags are not a great option especially for the people picking them up. Illegal rubbish dumping at recycling stations is an ongoing problem. Fly-tipping – dumping rubbish on the side of the road and into the Hutt River - is costly and bad for the environment. We all need to do better for the future and move to a smarter, greener and cleaner approach.
Korero Mai | Talk with us survey
Thanks for helping us build a better picture of what might work for you on your street.
More than 4,600 people completed our Korero Mai | Talk with us survey between 18 December 2019 and Wednesday 22 January 2020.
Formal consultation on the kerbside collection changes will start in early April 2020.
Questions and answers
How might things change?
- Recycling: a wheelie bin for recycling and a crate for glass, collected every fortnight.
- Rubbish: a wheelie bin for rubbish.
- Green (garden) waste: we are investigating a service to pick up garden waste that would be available to people who want it. There would be a charge for this service.
Community feedback over the next few months and the formal consultation process will shape what final decisions are made.
When will the changes for recycling and rubbish happen?
We expect that by 1 July 2021 every householder in our city will be using the new system. We will keep you updated on progress.
Why so long?
Rolling out a new system for rubbish and recycling across our city is a big undertaking, but we’re up for the challenge. We want to introduce a service which is the best it can be and continue to help households to reduce waste.
Before changes can occur we:
- asked for your feedback about kerbside collection.
- will use the results to inform the formal consultation later this year.
- will give you opportunities to give further feedback over the next few months before the annual plan process starts in April 2020.
After the decision has been made and included in our Long Term Plan we will be working on getting everything we need organised to improve our recycling and rubbish services. This includes the selected service providers purchasing new trucks, and rolling out the new bins.
How much is this all going to cost?
Residents currently pay for recycling via a targeted rate for recycling ($40 per property), and rubbish collection is paid by using pre-paid Council rubbish bags or by paying a private bin collection service provider.
The estimated cost for the rates-funded rubbish bin (120L bin) is around $144 per year for a weekly rubbish collection service, or $115 per year for a fortnightly rubbish collection service per dwelling.
The new targeted rate for the recycling service (240-litre recycling wheelie bin and a crate for glass) would be $69 per year for a fortnightly collection.
We estimate that a household currently using a 120-litre weekly private rubbish bin collection service, pays around $326 per annum for both rubbish collection and recycling.
Estimated costs for that household using a 120L rates-funded bin, and the two-stream recycling bins would pay an estimated $213 per year, a saving of about $113 per year.
I’m trying to reduce waste – why should my rates have to pay for a 240-litre rubbish bin?
The 'menu of options is likely to include different sized wheelie bins for rubbish: 80-litres, 120-litres or 240-litres. The cost would depend on the size of the bin. This bin would replace our existing weekly rubbish bag collection service or would replace your private bin collection service.
Will I be able to have my say about what I want for recycling and rubbish services?
We want to keep talking with you about how we can work together to reduce waste going to landfill. We can all do better to reduce what we throw away and make smarter choices to help our environment. Keep an eye out on Facebook and our website for more opportunities to share your views before formal consultation begins in April 2020.
What about residents in rural areas, units and apartments, or people who live on steep hills?
We’re learning from other council’s experiences in rolling out services involving bins.
Where rubbish and/or recycling bin collection is not possible for properties alongside narrow more rural roads, an alternative collection service could be provided, such as a dedicated drop-off.
For multi-units and apartments, we could offer an alternative collection service with 660L bins, provided the bins can be accommodated in a dedicated waste management area on the affected property.
How does the wheelie bin option meet the needs of people with limited mobility?
Wheelie bins can be challenging for people with disabilities. A subsidised wheel-in-and-wheel-out service could be offered, subject to qualifying criteria. Other councils offer similar services, and total costs are likely to be small in relation to the total service cost. We would work with people in the disability sector to design this service, to ensure it is fit for purpose and acceptable to the community.
What are the benefits of the change?
- Increased recycling: Introducing bigger recycling bins means that households can recycle more.
- Reducing wind-blown litter: The new recycling wheelie bins (and rubbish bins) can be fitted with lid-latches to avoid recyclables becoming litter, especially on windy days.
- Protecting the value of recyclable materials: Bins with lids would protect recyclables from rain, and by collecting glass separately we can protect the value of other recyclables, especially paper and cardboard.
- Safer: Changing from rubbish bags to wheelie bins for rubbish will improve health and safety for rubbish collection operators, by reducing injuries.
- More cost-effective overall: Moving to a rates-funded bin would lower costs for those residents who currently use a private bin collection service.
- Reducing illegal dumping: Shifting to the wheelie bins for rubbish should reduce the level of illegally dumped rubbish. A significant amount of ‘unofficial’ black bags are dumped around our city, particularly at council-operated recycling stations.
How will these changes contribute to council’s zero carbon target and give effect to council’s declaration of a climate emergency?
The current kerbside collection system contributes to carbon emissions in many ways – such as through the fuel used for powering the trucks during operation. In order to reduce emissions, our future service could be operated using battery-electric rubbish trucks. By implementing a rates-funded bin available to all households, we can also reduce the number of collection trucks working on Lower Hutt’s roads.
In addition, by introducing a more effective recycling collection system, valuable resources can be kept in circulation for longer, saving energy and carbon emissions associated with the making of products.
How would I fit all the bins on the kerb on collection day?
You would not have to put all bins out at once. We anticipate that the collections of different bins would be in alternate weeks. For example, if both recycling and rubbish collection is fortnightly, then the recycling bin and crate for glass would be put out in one week, and the rubbish bin would be put out in the alternate week.
We're aware that for some houses, like those with shared driveways, flats down a right of way, or those on a cul-de-sac, kerbside space may be shared by many bins. There would be further work undertaken to identify these areas and provide solutions.
Would I have to purchase the new bins?
Property owners will pay for the service through rates. Bins will be provided as part of this.
Where did the recommended option come from?
We’ve received a huge amount of feedback from you, about how you feel about our current recycling and rubbish system. So we worked with waste management specialists on a strategic review and business case that looked at all aspects of Lower Hutt’s waste management system.
The Kerbside collections business case (1.45 MB) recommends a number of options for change.
Find out more
If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 04 570 6666.