Councillors under fire from Dunedin residents about fees
at the Green Island landfill have agreed to at least consider a
The option would provide for a second weighbridge at Green
Island Landfill - there is already one for commercial
customers - providing for a weigh-in, weigh-out system.
Vehicles would be weighed on the way in to the landfill and
on the way out and people charged for the difference in the
weight, that being the amount of waste they had disposed of.
There could be two separate fees, for green waste and general
waste, and a minimum fee for very light loads.
Staff have indicated the weighbridge, which would cost
$150,000, could be paid for and installed this year, by
deferring capital expenditure already planned for this year.
Councillors, many of who said people had complained to them
about recent changes that removed any discretion in charging
people and were often perceived as unfair, were also offered
an option of a fees review that would refine the grading of
They asked for a report outlining all the implications of a
weighbridge, after which they would make a decision on
whether to consult people on having one installed.
Several councillors outlined reservations that a weighbridge
was not necessarily the best way to go or an unnecessary
expense, when booth operators could be trained better and
more levels of charging could be introduced, based on the
volume of rubbish people were bringing in, rather than the
Cr Mike Lord said more common sense needed to be applied to
present charging system and Cr Lee Vandervis asked staff if
it was possible to charge for half loads, or have a little
Council water and waste group manager Laura McElhone said in
their experience that did not work, people could drive up
with a similar load different days and be charged different
Asked by Cr Chris Staynes, who was concerned a weighbridge
was an overreaction to a situation that could be resolved
with better training of booth operators, she said if the
council wanted security around budget targets, a weighbridge
was the way to go and was not subject to questioning, the way
discretion on volumes was.
Cr Kate Wilson said she would prefer to see the money
invested in educating people to dispose of less waste or
dispose of it correctly.
Cr Andrew Noone said moving towards a weighing system was
clearly more fair and equitable.
''It takes that guesswork away from staff and customers will
have a greater faith in the council delivering a service that
does what it says its doing.''
Cr John Bezett said people would feel they were being treated
equally with a weighbridge.
''And I think that's really the nub of the issue.''
Cr Jinty MacTavish said she was not convinced charging by
weight was the way to get a system that really worked, but
she would support the resolution to ask for a report with
Cr Wilson said she would not because it took the council no
further down the road to minimising waste.
Others said they wanted to see a report detailing the
implications of the weighbridge option before taking it any
further, and asked that one be made ready for the February
meeting of the council's infrastructure services committee.
The present charges will remain in place until a decision
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