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National contractors for local solid waste and recycling services

The Wairoa District Council approved a new contract for its solid waste and recycling services at its full Council meeting last Tuesday.

The new contract will see the largest New Zealand-owned provider of waste and recycling services, Smart Environmental Ltd, commence services on April 1 2019.

They will take over from QRS Ltd, the previous contract holder which chose to not continue with the contract.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said while the new contract has been awarded the specifics around operations and landfill opening times have not yet been finalised.

“There will be changes to services, including the possibility of rationalising collection days and routes, and a reduction in Refuse Transfer Station operating days and landfill operating hours.

“Smart Environmental has a proven track record and is committed to employing local people, and we welcome them to Wairoa and look forward to working with them.

“They are a national company and pride themselves on providing a local service. They recognise there will be staff changes at QRS following this contract change and are keen to speak with local employees who work in this area to discuss opportunities for future employment.

“It’s great to have a business of the calibre of Smart Environmental which has a lot of experience and will be able to assist us in refining some of our costings and structures so we can present the best service in the most cost-effective way.”

Mr Little said Council received 22 submissions as part of its waste management consultation process.

“We heard loud and clear through the submission process, and others who we have spoken with that people would rather have reduced hours than pay more money in rates.

“Our small population base and isolation means waste management is always going to be expensive, and in many cases more costly per capita than other areas.

“We are continually looking at waste management initiatives and possibilities, and it is about finding an affordable option that suits our district.

“Council’s costs are just like any household costs, we are continually trying to work as efficiently as possible.

“The last three contracts Council tendered and awarded came in at well above Council’s estimations.

“Our estimations were based on previous prices and also adjusted for inflation, but the costs of providing these services are increasing rapidly, particularly around compliance costs.

“All we can do is continue to try and balance providing the best services possible within our budget constraints.”

11 February 2019

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