John and Sue Tielkes are among those grumbling at a
stricter approach to fees at Dunedin's Green Island
landfill. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Strict enforcement of charges at Dunedin's Green Island
landfill is nearly doubling the bill for some fuming tip-goers.
The change, after the contractor running the facility was
instructed to charge full prices without discretion, has left
some visitors to the landfill warning of an increase in
illegal dumping as a result.
However, others have defended the tough new approach, saying
the alternative was to increase rates across the city to
cover the landfill's costs.
The situation came to light after some residents complained
earlier this week they were now being charged full prices,
regardless of the amount of waste inside their vehicles and
The Otago Daily Times visited yesterday and talked to
a steady stream of disgruntled motorists leaving the
Sue and John Tielkes, of Belleknowes, said they were used to
paying ''less than $20'' for green waste on a trailer, but
had been charged about $30 yesterday.
Mrs Tielkes said the fees were now ''far too high'', and
feared the strict new approach would encourage illegal
''It's never been that dear. It's just getting out of hand,
especially with the rates and everything else.
''They will start dumping it elsewhere,'' she said.
Shane Dowd, of Macandrew Bay, said he travelled to the Green
Island landfill yesterday after discovering the strict
approach was also being enforced at transfer stations.
That meant the cost of dumping one of his regular small loads
of rubbish at the central city transfer station had increased
from $18 to $36, he said.
The change prompted him to take a larger car and trailer-load
of rubbish to the Green Island landfill yesterday afternoon,
only to be charged $46.
Saddle Hill Community Board chairman Scott Weatherall said he
worried the strict enforcement would only encourage illegal
dumping, which was already a problem in the area.
''I think we can, sadly, expect to see more,'' he said.
He understood the council needed to cover its costs, ''but it
needs to be trying to meet [people] halfway''.
However, Waikouaiti Coast Community Board chairman Gerard
Collings said money to cover the cost of the landfill had to
come from somewhere, and the strict approach was ''probably
''The charges are the charges. If people have been getting a
more lenient approach up until now, then perhaps the
''The cost of running the facility is the cost of running the
facility. It either comes from the gate or from rates.''
Illegal dumping has ''always been a concern of the board's'',
but he was not aware of any increase in instances in the area
''But certainly we'd like to make sure that the landfill
charges that are applied don't end up in an increase in any
''You need to rely on people to do the right thing.''
The latest landfill fees were confirmed by councillors in
February last year, as part of the annual plan budget
process, and took effect on March 1.
That followed a staff review which concluded Green Island
landfill revenue was below budget and there was a 20%
shortfall between revenue received from domestic customers
and the cost of waste disposal.
Council solid waste manager Ian Featherston could not be
contacted yesterday, but council water and waste group
manager Laura McElhone, responding to a letter to the editor
earlier this week, defended the new approach.
Vehicle charges were based on the average weight of waste in
a vehicle of a particular type, and the discretionary
approach had contributed to the need to increase the fees per
vehicle to cover costs, she said.