New kerbside waste collections set to start for Western Bay in 2021

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Tauranga City Council will introduce kerbside waste collections for all households, from 1 July 2021. This means weekly food scraps and fortnightly rubbish and recycling collections will be added to existing glass recycling collections. More than 1800 tonnes of rubbish will be diverted from Western Bay landfill once a kerbside recycling, glass and rubbish collection service across approximately 80 per cent of the District starts in 2021.

The service will initially cost $230 including GST for the first year and be charged in residential rates from 1 July 2021 through a new targeted rate – including the existing charge for the glass recycling service of $37 a year. The new charge will also replace the costs the vast majority of households currently pay for kerbside collections. Households can also choose whether to opt into a rates-funded monthly garden waste service for an additional $60 including GST for the first year.
Almost 70% of Tauranga’s household waste sent to landfill could be recycled or composted instead. The service is expected to halve the amount of waste each household sends to landfill by 2028.
Mayor Tenby Powell said a rates-funded system will make reducing waste easier, more accessible and more affordable for the community as a whole. “Other councils that have introduced similar services have seen a large reduction in household waste going to landfill and we expect a similar result in Tauranga.”
The decision to introduce the kerbside waste collections follows a successful procurement process which means the majority of households will see their current waste disposal costs reduced, while receiving a more comprehensive service. The annual cost for the new service is the same as using one and a half rubbish bags a week, and significantly less than the $515 a year the average household that only uses private kerbside rubbish and recycling collections pays, according to market research.
The decision was also influenced by the majority of the community feedback gathered through the Long-Term Plan 2018-28 being in favour of introducing a rates-funded service.
The new service aligns with Council’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan and supports a circular economy. The collections will also result in fewer trucks on residential streets on collection days, and fewer car trips to the transfer station (particularly for recycling). Reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill will also help mitigate the future impact on our community of rising landfill costs due to increases in the government’s waste levy and emissions trading scheme.

Council’s rubbish bag collection will stop when the new service begins, however, the transfer stations will continue to operate.
For the first year, all households will be provided with a 140L rubbish bin, a 240L recycling bin and a 23L food scrap bin to add to their existing 45L glass recycling crate. Other councils with a similar service have found these sizes suit the vast majority of households. After the first year of the service, ratepayers can select from different sized rubbish and recycling bins to suit their particular household needs – with reduced rates for smaller bins and increased rates for larger bins.
General Manager of Infrastructure, Nic Johansson commented “We’ve heard from the community that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ service isn’t preferred and that there’s a strong desire for an incentive for households to reduce their overall waste. That’s why we’ve landed on having different size bins for rubbish and recycling. However, we’ve learnt from other councils that it’s best to keep the roll-out as simple as possible, so we’ve opted to use a standard bin size and cost for rubbish and recycling for the first year. Then, once the community has got used to the new service, we can start incentivising households to reduce their waste through the choice of smaller/cheaper bins for rubbish and recycling.”
The council is partnering with EnviroWaste to provide the kerbside collections. Western Bay of Plenty District Council (WBOPDC) is also partnering with EnviroWaste to introduce kerbside waste collections, but with a ‘pay-as-you-throw’ rubbish collection service rather than a rates-funded service. WBOPDC’s decision to provide a ‘pay-as-you-throw’ rubbish service resulted from community consultation that showed this was the preferred option. 
The Council acknowledges that the new collection service will be a big change for the city. “We know that some companies currently operating kerbside waste collections will be adversely affected by this decision, and that’s a matter of regret in these difficult times,” Mayor Powell said. “However, this is one of those occasions where we have to make a difficult decision to get the best outcome for our community and the environment.”
The council-led kerbside waste collections will commence on 1 July 2021.