Waste plan progresses

New ways to charge about 800 Dunedin businesses for trade waste have passed their latest hurdle without debate.

The city council yesterday sent its new trade waste charging scheme into the annual plan process after staff said most businesses supported it.

The regime, developed for the council's 2008 trade waste bylaw, puts trade waste producers into three categories and introduces new consent and discharge charges.

The biggest dischargers, about 90 industrial, food manufacturing and supermarket premises, will need to get a trade waste consent and be regularly sampled.

The so-called category A premises will pay an $862.50 application fee and fees based on trade waste flow, biological oxygen demand and total suspended solids.

About 700 category B premises, such as dentists, fish and chip shops and cafes, will pay a $258.75 application fee and a $140 annual inspection fee.

About 500 category C premises, whose discharges are categorised as posing little or no risk to the wastewater system, will pay non-residential drainage rates. These include hairdressers, beauticians, dairies and cafes without food preparation on site.

Water and waste services manager John Mackie said 23 trade waste customers paid 5% of drainage costs, but analysis showed treating trade waste was about 2% of the treatment costs.

The new regime would recover 2% of drainage costs from category A customers and the rest would be spread across all customers through drainage rates.

Council staff took the scheme to businesses last year and Mr Mackie said most of the feedback was positive.

Systems and compliance team leader Kevin Wood said trade waste customers supported it and national and multinational businesses expected it to come.

Some small businesses, such as Rinnon Products, were worried about the potential extra cost, especially when it came to ongoing sampling.

South Laundry was "horrified".

The Otago Chamber of Commerce and Otago Southland Employers Association supported user pays [but] had "minor" concerns about the impact on some smaller businesses, feedback showed.

The new charges will be included in the draft annual plan.

- stu.oldham@odt.co.nz


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