Second weigh bridge considered

Dunedin city councillors will consider the option of installing a weighbridge at the Green Island landfill to more accurately charge each person for the amount of rubbish they want to dump.

Other councils around the country commonly use weighbridges, with charges ranging from about $118 a tonne for general waste and $54 a tonne for green waste in Wellington to $231 a tonne and $92 a tonne for green waste in Christchurch.

Other councils have a single charge that covers both general and green waste.

Council solid waste manager Ian Featherston said staff had investigated the cost of installing a second weighbridge.

A weighbridge is already in operation for commercial users and large truckloads of waste, although user charges would only be worked out if councillors decided to go with a weighbridge.

Many landfill users have complained about the cost since a fee increase and since booth operators' ability to use their discretion was removed last year.

Operators recently started charging by vehicle size or trailer-load, instead of by what amount of rubbish was being dumped.

Cr Andrew Noone said he felt a weighbridge was the best way to go, for fairness and efficiency of the operation.

However, it would depend on the cost of installing it and how long it would take to pay it off.

''I really feel we have no choice. It's only a matter of time; we've got to have one.

''Economically, if the payback period is over a relatively short period of time it is something we should at least consider anyway.''

Cr Kate Wilson said she would rather see people reusing or recycling more of their waste than the council having to invest in a weighbridge.

A weighbridge would remove all the anomalies that could deter people from recycling or disposing of their waste sensibly, but it depended on the cost, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said.

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