Home > News > Archive > 3rd July 2007

Bins or bags, it’s your choice

Courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier
Rubbish Collection
ONE MAN’S TRASH ... Council’s recently introduced recycling service (pictured in action in North Street) has been welcomed with full bins by residents, removing tonnes of recyclables from the waste stream and forcing changes to the way residents use the district refuse collection. 184071AD

By Grant Johnston

National collections manager for EnviroWaste, Steve Kirk says he is surprised by the negative press his company’s free wheelie bin trial has generated.

The company is in the middle of a district wide trial of 120-litre wheelie bins for all urban residents in the district. It is also examining options for rural residents. The three week trial which has been ‘rolled out’ around Waipa has seen many take up the optional conversion from the traditional rubbish bags to regular wheelie bins.

Feedback from residents has also seen the company offer variations on the promoted weekly collection service - including fortnightly and monthly options.

“We are not trying to shove a onesize-fits-all onto residents. We are saying ‘what are your refuse requirements and we’ll do what we can to provide a matching service’,” Mr Kirk told the Courier. He also said there was “no intention any time soon to scrap the bag option” - which seems to be preferred by the ‘half a bag a week’ people (as evidenced in the Courier’s Letters to the Editor column and in a Waikato Times article based on these).

“Because of the cost of production of the bags, delivery and the margin for on-sellers, bags are a more expensive option for us than bins. We believe we are able to offer better value to residents direct. Ironically, one of the drivers for the wheelie bin trial was the strong and negative reaction we received last year when costs forced us to increase the price of bags. Our goal is to continue the strong association EnviroWaste has with Waipa residents. We’ve been working hard to reduce bag drop-off points and increase kerbside service coverage. We are also keen to support what (Waipa District) Council is doing in terms of waste diversion through its new kerbside recycling service, by promoting the smaller 120-litre bins as our primary service.”

Wheelie Bin
‘YELLOW MUSHROOMS’ have been popping up on Te Awamutu streets.

EnviroWaste’s advertised rate for the weekly wheelie bin service is around $13 per month, or $150 per annum (if paid in advance). Cost for a fortnightly collection is $95 per annum and for a monthly collection $47 per annum.

Mr Kirk said the wheelie bin trial was a considerable expense for the company - but necessary in trying to improve the service and value residents get out of their refuse service. He said some of the negative reaction that had resulted from the trial was caused by misconceptions that the wheelie bins were compulsory.

Range of rubbish options available

By Dean Taylor

The option of wheelie bins for rubbish collection is not a new concept for Waipa. EnviroWaste’s free trial promotion has created some confusion about the future of bags and alternative rubbish collection options. In fact, while EnviroWaste are Waipa District’s contracted collectors of official rubbish bags, residents opting for a wheelie bin collection have several choices.

Cambridge Hire Bins is a 100% Waipa owned and operated business and has been operating for 20 years. Kerbside collection of wheelie bins is one of the services offered. They use 240 litre bins and offer weekly or fortnightly collection at similar rates to EnviroWaste. Paying in advance is the cheapest option, either six monthly or yearly, but the company will also invoice monthly for clients wishing to spread payments.

Cambridge Hire Bins cover most of the Te Awamutu Courier readership area and collect on Wednesdays.

Otorohanga company Supa Bins also collects here.

Waste Management operate Te Awamutu’s recycling and waste depot in Daphne Street and has a wheelie bin service. They offer 120 litre or 240 litre bins, weekly or fortnightly collections and payment either six months or a year in advance. The local branch acknowledges its standard prices are currently not as low as the offer by EnviroWaste, but believes it has the right price for the service and that EnviroWaste’s prices will probably rise eventually.