Households face $330 for bins

Dunedin households that have rubbish and recycling collected at the kerb could each pay an assumed average of $330 for an upgraded service next year — amounting to a price rise for many.

An annual targeted flat rate has been recommended by Dunedin City Council staff, which would mean ratepayers would be charged the same amount per property.

Some property owners may opt to pay more for an extra bin for garden waste, potentially costing $140-$180.

The kerbside collection service is to be upgraded from July and it includes wheelie bins replacing rubbish bags for general rubbish and the introduction of bins for food scraps.

Consideration of how charges should be allocated is to be discussed at a council meeting scheduled for today and tomorrow.

Besides the recommended option, two others have been put in front of councillors for their consideration — a progressive targeted rate for residential and lifestyle properties calculated on capital value, and a combination of a flat rate and progressive rate — but it has been noted this would result in property owners paying different amounts for the same service.

Communicating to residents about this would be more complicated than advising them of a flat rate, the council acknowledged.

Material on the council’s website listed the estimated cost of the new service as between $320 and $340 per property, plus $140-$180 for ratepayers who wanted the extra bin for garden waste.

An assumed fee of $330 per property has been applied for the option of the targeted flat rate in the agenda for the council meeting.

Confirmation of the amount is to be determined early next year.

The existing targeted rate is $106.10, but residents also pay for rubbish bags or for private collection from wheelie bins.

The city council charges $3.60 for each 40-litre bag and $3.80 for each 65-litre bag.

Rubbish bags were viewed as a way to charge high producers of rubbish more than those who produced less rubbish.

However, the bags were also criticised as being untidy and not environmentally friendly, and will no longer be collected from mid-2024.

There has been some unease about the new system lacking incentives for reducing rubbish.

However, wheelie bins replacing rubbish bags, and a separate collection for food scraps and garden waste, were considered significant improvements.