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Sick of discarded parking receipts littering the floor of your car, the gutters and Dunedin's shoreline?
The Dunedin City Council is trialling an answer: a solar-powered parking meter which gives people the option of not needing a receipt because the parking information is stored in the meter and is accessible by parking officers' smart phones.
It is the response to concerns about the environmental effect of the receipts from parking meters. The receipts are not biodegradable because they are treated with a plastic coating and do not break down when exposed to the weather.
The machine, which requires motorists to input their car registration number along with how much time is required and choose their payment method, is being trialled in the upper Octagon for the next two or three months.
Council Citifleet team leader Brent Bachop said the new unit cost $7500. However, if the trial was successful, there was also an option of retrofitting meters at the time they needed refurbishment, at a cost of $2500.
Peter McDonald, who made a submission to the council about the environmental effect of the receipts, said it would be great if people could learn to use the new machine and feel confident about not putting a receipt in the window of their cars.
Cr Jinty McTavish said it would require some patience from motorists and there would be some teething problems but she hoped people would persevere and give the council feedback.
Receipts would still be available for those needing them for business purposes, she said.