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Community feedback encouraged

Community input on the preferred operating days and hours of the Wairoa landfill close on Wednesday January 30.

The Wairoa District Council has been seeking input from the local community on the future operating hours and associated costs at the landfill.

The landfill consultation process is on the back of rising waste management costs with it no longer possible for the Council to provide the current service within the current cost structure.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said the Council has made no decisions on the days and hours of operation.

“It is up to the people of Wairoa to tell us what they want.

“We have received some submissions, but I am still hoping for more community input.

“We have two simple options, the same operating times at a higher cost or reduced operating times at the same cost.”

The cost of operating the landfill has been steadily increasing with a reduction in landfill opening hours, from seven days down to six, flagged in the Council’s 2018-28 Long-Term Plan.

Mr Little said Council staff had spent many months investigating options for the future provision of Wairoa’s solid waste management.

“The rising costs of waste management is a global issue and while protecting the environment is number one it does come at a cost.”

Mr Little said it had been difficult to attract a suitable contractor to Wairoa and the decision by the previous contract holders, QRS, not to submit a tender has meant Council has had to look outside the district for a new contractor.

“We received limited interest from contractors to provide the service due to the risks involved and isolation of Wairoa.

“Prospective tenderers indicated they were not able to operate the landfill and recycling centre at the current level of service within the Council’s annual budget of $759,500.

“The preferred contractor provided a price to operate the site for four days (including weekends) that fits within Council’s budget.”

Option one is to operate the landfill for six days. The proposed net cost is $1,152,400 per annum. This will exceed the budget and will involve a rates increase.

Option two is to operate the landfill for four days per week. This is a reduction in the level of service, and the net cost is $753,000 per annum which fits within the Council’s current budget.

“The Council’s aim is to consider community feedback and make a decision on how the service will be delivered on February 5, the first Council meeting of 2019.

“We will be hoping to have a contract signed and new operator in place by April.

“We are doing our best to keep our district as clean and green as possible, but it is difficult when costs that are out of our control are spiralling.

Mr Little said the Wairoa landfill charges are still very competitive.

Green waste, minimum weight of 25kg, is $2.50 and general waste, minimum weight of 25 kg, is $5.

“This is still significantly cheaper than our neighbours where the same green waste in Napier would cost $10 and Hastings and Gisborne $8 and general waste in Napier and Hastings $12 and $17 in Gisborne.”

To make a submission either go online www.wairoadc.govt.nz or call into the Council offices and talk to the staff.

28 January 2019

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