Fornightly waste collections adopted

Rubbish collections in Central Otago are set to be changed from weekly to fortnightly from July next year after the Central Otago District Council adopted its Waste Minimisation and Management Plan yesterday.

Fortnightly collections were a hot topic among the 207 submissions received during public consultation last year, with 187 discussing proposed fortnightly collections of the 240-litre wheelie bins.

A small majority supported the change but many indicated a concern for public health and offensive odours from waste material, especially in summer.

Hearings were held in December before the council's infrastructure committee, with six of the 10 members supporting the change.

It was thought fewer collections would encourage people to recycle and compost more.

"Waste is extremely expensive and people in Central Otago need to change their ways," Mayor Tony Lepper said.

Kerbside organic waste collection was also raised through submissions but, after consideration, it was thought too expensive to implement and unsustainable given the widespread geography of Central Otago and the cost of transport.

The option to opt out of council rubbish collections was not offered as it was thought if holiday-home did this, it would make collections hard to fund in towns such as Naseby.

An option included in the final plan was for businesses within the kerbside collection area to be allocated one recycling bin, with the approval of collectors, Central Otago WasteBusters.

An option to change to a smaller wheelie bin was also included in the plan, something that would be reflected in rates, as would the move to fortnightly collections.

Other key actions in the plan include education about waste-reduction options, reviewing the area covered by wheelie-bin collection to allow for township growth, support for Central Otago WasteBusters to carry out its operations, subsidies to encourage home composting and the retention of a "polluter pays" policy to pass on the full cost of waste disposal services and waste minimisation costs to the producers of waste.


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