Process to get second red-lidded bin ‘a rigmarole’

Alister Forgie, of Mosgiel, says emptying his Dunedin City Council wheelie bin of rubbish once a...
Alister Forgie, of Mosgiel, says emptying his Dunedin City Council wheelie bin of rubbish once a fortnight would not be enough. It is understood the council is likely to provide another bin, for medical reasons. In the meantime, Waste Management collects his rubbish weekly. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
A Mosgiel pensioner likely to get a second council wheelie bin for rubbish because of his medical situation hopes the process will not be "a rigmarole" for anyone else.

Alister Forgie, 76, said he had his prostate taken out in October last year and he needed up to seven incontinence pads a day, which required disposal.

Fortnightly collection of rubbish from one 140-litre bin at his home — a system the Dunedin City Council is due to start next month — would not be enough, he said.

After a series of phone calls, Mr Forgie appears likely to get a second council red-lidded bin.

A medical professional could verify the need for it and an application form was in the post, he was told yesterday.

He received a subsidy for incontinence pads through Work and Income and he suspected some people would not be aware of their eligibility for this, too.

Mr Forgie hoped other people in his situation were aware they could apply for another bin. This was not what he was told when he rang the council last month, he said.

The initial response was the rubbish service would be reviewed after six months and he could hire another bin privately, he said.

Mr Forgie said he rang the council again about a fortnight ago and was told someone would get back to him.

No response came and he rang again.

A result was achieved this week when a staff member informed him of the application form.

Mr Forgie was unsure how widely known the process was, because staff at a council facility in Mosgiel were unaware of it yesterday.

He was told the option had become available recently.

"It has been a rigmarole," he said.

The council confirmed last night it had an option available for people who unavoidably produced more medical waste than would fit in a 140-litre bin emptied fortnightly.

"Anyone in need of this assistance can contact us and we’ll help guide them through the application process," a spokesman said.

The existing advice on the council’s website for anybody else who felt their bin would be too small discouraged people from jumping to this conclusion.

This was partly because food scraps and garden waste could be put in the new green-lidded bins in use from next month.

People might also consider commercial services or private bin hire, the council said.

It is understood Mr Forgie’s extra council bin will be emptied fortnightly.

At this stage, he remains a customer of Waste Management, which runs a weekly private collection.

Mr Forgie uses the firm’s bins rather than paying for council rubbish bags, which will no longer be sold from next month.

He was wary of paying for two services from next month.

For those people who felt the council red-lidded bins were too large for their needs, an 80-litre version would not be available until February next year, the council said.

Property owners could request a correction if they believed the green-lidded bins supplied to them were the wrong size.

Further confusion emerged about the revamped service when a council app suggested it was starting this week, rather than next month.

A council spokesman said there had been a "soft launch" of a kerbside collection app.

"We are aware the app includes incorrect dates for the start of new green- and red-lidded bin collection, but this was an unavoidable technical issue," he said.

A service alert advised everyone not to use the new bins until July 1.

"This alert briefly dropped off the app but has been reinstated."