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Landfill pricing change

Landfill

The cost of dumping general and green waste at the Wairoa Landfill will increase from September 1.

The new charges will see the minimum charge for general waste increase from $5 to $5.50 ($210 per tonne) and green waste from $2.50 to $3 ($110.00 per tonne).

Wairoa District Council chief executive Steven May said the increase is a direct reflection of the costs around managing the landfill.

“Our two biggest issues around landfill and recycling are our isolated location and our volumes of rubbish are too small so we cannot justify investing in other processing methods.”

“Waste minimisation is a Central Government focus with the overall plan being to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills or polluting the environment.

“The Government has confirmed its plans to increase and expand the national waste disposal levy to divert more material from landfill. It will use the revenue gathered from the waste disposal levy for resource recovery and waste minimisation.

“We have tried to keep the increase as low as possible using a user pays system, rather than adding the increase into the rates which would have added to an across the board increase.

“The reality is costs are increasing and there is a national drive to divert material away from landfills.”

Mr May said there are ways to keep personal costs down such as pooling landfill visits. We have received feedback from locals who take their own couple of bags to the landfill and then also take a couple of bags for family and friends. Four or five bags of rubbish can cost the same as just taking two bags.

“This is ideal as it saves costs for the consumer and can be an opportunity to help out your family and friends or those on a limited income.

“Plus, it means just one vehicle trip to the landfill instead of two or three - again better for the environment.”

Mr May stressed that the waste management focus aims to create efficiencies, so people don’t have to make a trip to the landfill.

“For people living in town, household refuse can be collected from their property.

“The reality is a trip to the landfill is only for items that are too big for the refuse collection.”

During the COVID-19 lock down levels a Council initiative was to pick up rubbish for free which supported people staying in their bubbles and not having to leave home to take their rubbish to the landfill.

The initiative cost Council around $16,000 and saw landfill visits drop by nearly half.

Before lockdown, the roadside collection was around 2.8 tonnes per week. That increased to around 10 tonnes per week during the free service.

“We received great feedback on the free rubbish collection service and will continue to explore other ways of providing the best waste service we can within our financial restrictions.

“Dumping green and general waste at the Wairoa landfill is still significantly cheaper than landfill costs in our neighbouring regions of Napier and Gisborne.

“We are fortunate to have an excellent landfill which is consented until 2031, and capacity of the current cell is expected to last at least for the next 10 years.

“We are constantly looking at new technologies and how we can do it better and in a more commercially viable way.”

For more information head to: https://www.mfe.govt.nz/waste/waste-and-government

31 July 2020

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