DCC cuts rubbish bin plan

Black rubbish bags and 45-litre recycling bins will be retained, and a single new wheelie bin introduced, under a revised kerbside collection plan that has won initial support from a majority of Dunedin city councillors.

Councillors at yesterday's extraordinary infrastructure services committee voted 10-4 in favour of "option C", which would see black bags retained for weekly rubbish collection and blue bins used for fortnightly collection of glass recyclables only.

A new 140-litre bin would be introduced for paper, plastic and other mixed recycling materials, also to be collected fortnightly.

If introduced, the system would cost each household $70 a year, adding 1.1% to the city's rates in 2010-11.

The vote came after concerns were again raised about the cost and practicality of a three-bin system for rubbish and recycling, which had initially been recommended by council staff.

A three-bin system would cost households $190 each year and add 4.5% to rates.

Yesterday's move to support a smaller scheme would need to be approved by the council on August 17 before being released as the preferred option for public consultation.

The council hopes to have a new system in place by October next year.

Councillors at yesterday's meeting also voted to include the other options considered - from the three-bin system to retention of the bag and blue bin-only system - in this month's public consultation.

The move followed legal advice the other options could be included, meaning councillors would then be free to discard their preferred option, in favour of another, if public feedback warranted it.

Councillors also voted to add a list of optional variations to the standard service - for example, allowing those in hard-to-reach parts of the city to opt for smaller bins - to the public consultation stage.

The council would also launch an education drive closer to the time of any system's introduction, to ensure ratepayers understood the new system.

Speaking at yesterday's meeting, committee chairman Cr Andrew Noone doubted any of the options considered would please everyone, but said members of the kerbside working party - which he chaired - had "agonised" over the options for two years.

He supported the retention of black bags and blue recycling bins, initially at least, but asked council staff to seek a written commitment from contractors they would be able to provide a black-bag collection service for at least the next three years.

The request came after councillors yesterday heard health and safety concerns surrounding the black-bag collection service meant its future could not be guaranteed.

Cr Noone said the new system, if adopted, should be reviewed after three years, possibly leading to enhancements or "tweaks".

"It's not the full monty, it's not the ultimate, but it's a step in the right direction."

Cr Bill Acklin said the three-bin system "is certainly the one that would tick all the boxes", but its cost meant "it probably isn't the right time to be heading down that road".

Instead, option C represented the best value for money for the majority of ratepayers, he believed.

Cr Chris Staynes also supported the move, but hoped a way of charging individuals by their volume of rubbish could be found in future, while Cr Teresa Stevenson supported the current system or the three-bin system.

Crs Richard Walls, Neil Collins and Paul Hudson also voted against the revised system, with Cr Walls voicing his support for the status quo, even though its cost was to rise to an estimated $50 per household from 2010-11.

Mayor Peter Chin supported option C, as did deputy mayor Syd Brown and Crs Michael Guest, Kate Wilson, John Bezett, Fliss Butcher and Dave Cull.


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