Proposals sought for Rotorua district waste collection

Rotorua Lakes Council is calling for tenders for district waste collection services as part of a proposed change to wheelie bins and kerbside recycling.

Weekly collections of wheelie bins and kerbside recycling bins are proposed for urban areas and a variety of options are being assessed for rural and lakes communities to suit local conditions and needs.

The tender process will determine the estimated cost of new options before final decisions are made by Council next year.

Councillor Janet Wepa, who leads Rotorua Lakes Council’s Sustainable Living Portfolio, says key targets for the new strategy are to reduce waste going to the landfill and increase recycling.

“No final decisions have been made yet,” Cr Wepa says. “What people have told us is being taken into consideration by staff in developing proposed options and we need to get relative costs to help us make a final decision.

“We’ll need to balance our waste reduction and recycling targets with service improvements and financial viability. That means we need all the information in front of us, including costs, before making a final decision, to make sure we do the right thing,” Cr Wepa says.

Recent community meetings followed formal consultation on council’s draft waste strategy, conducted as part of the Long-term Plan process. An online survey provided another way for the district’s residents to give feedback and they were also able to have their say via Facebook.

“We have known for some years now that Rotorua people want kerbside recycling and that came through again during the consultation and feedback process,” Cr Wepa says.

“Many people want to keep the city’s recycling centre as well as have kerbside recycling and there are no plans to close the centre.

“Some people have expressed concerns about the suitability of wheelie bins for those who are older and/or disabled or have steep driveways. These are issues council staff will work through to find appropriate solutions,” Cr Wepa says.

Rotorua Lakes Council transport solutions director Stavros Michael says staff are also in discussion with other councils in the region to look at the potential for shared services, which may provide cost efficiencies.

Following the tender process, council staff will detail options and costs in a report which is expected to go before councillors in March next year, for their consideration and a final decision about services.

If given the green light, proposed new collection services would be implemented early in the 2016/17 financial year, which starts July 2016.

The draft waste strategy proposes that the district’s landfill be operated in partnership with a commercial operator and a tender process for that service is also underway.

What’s currently in a typical Rotorua rubbish bag

• 40% food waste
• 39% recyclables
• 10% glass
• 11% other rubbish
• 8400 tonnes of rubbish from kerbside collection every year

For further information please contact:
Ingrid Tiriana
Public Relations Advisor
DDI: 351-8110
Mob: 021-190 8868
Email: Ingrid.tiriana@rdc.govt.nz