Why we're consulting on changing to wheelie bins

We're investigating a wheelie bin system for kerbside collection to replace the sticker system.

Moving to wheelie bins will improve the level of service and separate waste stream to reduce waste going to landfill and carbon emissions.

To help us plan a kerbside collection service with long term changes, we asked for feedback on what we're considering:

  • replacing stickered bags with wheelie bins for general rubbish and recycling, and in the future - organic waste (food scraps and greenwaste)
  • changing the frequency of kerbside collections for general rubbish and recycling
  • introducing the separation of waste into multiple streams for kerbside collection - general rubbish, mixed recycling and glass, and organic waste in the future.

Why now?

The current solid waste contract is ending 3 June 2022, it gives us the opportunity to look at ways of improving our kerbside collection service in Tairāwhiti Gisborne and replace the current sticker system.

Government recently announced a plan to improve the waste management system of the country by 2030 to include separated organic waste such as food scraps and greenwaste to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase national recycling capabilities by proposing standardised kerbside recycling collection services across Aotearoa.

As part of our 2021-2031 Long Term Plan and our commitment to be a driven, enabled, vibrant and sustainable city, Council resolved to look into bin options and to gauge the appetite for a change to the kerbside collection service for Tairāwhiti Gisborne.

Moving to wheelie bins will help separate our rubbish into different waste streams and reduce the amount of organic waste that currently goes to landfill, which is one of the biggest contributors to our greenhouse gas emissions in our region as well as reducing the number of plastic bags going to landfill.

Our current collection service for the city provides printed stickers.

One sticker per 5kgs of weight is required and there's no limitations on how many bags can be collected.

We issue 13 rubbish stickers each rates quarter to ratepayers or housing providers. They are also available for purchase at various outlets.

Our recommended retail price is $2.80 per sticker for kerbside collection and $10 per rural pink sticker.

Challenges with the stickers

Multiple schedules are required for the stickers to be printed quarterly to either accompany rates invoices, for property managers who have tenants or rental properties, or to be available as a standalone item.

Additional stickers are available from our customer services centre and through various retail outlets such as supermarkets, dairies and service stations at variable costs, as retailers can set their own prices.

Stickers are sometimes sent with or without rates invoices. There are ongoing issues with missed stickers, stolen stickers and stickers not being passed onto tenants.

Residents who receive their rates invoices online sometimes don't receive their stickers.

Bags bring health and safety risks and create an inconsistency in the kerbside collections.

Bags are susceptible to tearing and ripping leaving rubbish spread across an area and requiring the contractor to pick it up.

Bags have a 20kg weight limit and contractors and households are required to estimate the weight of the bag and check the bag is stickered correctly.

Weight inconsistencies and incorrect stickers can result in a manual labour injury to the contractor.

Plastic rubbish bags and other plastic items are estimated to take 1000 years to break down in landfill.

Rubbish and recycling are currently being diverted out of our region.

General waste is transported to the Waste Management landfill site in Tirohia.

Recycling is transported to various facilities throughout Aotearoa.

The benefits, costs and who receives the service

Answers to those questions and more

Any changes to our kerbside collection service are expected to commence in July 2023.

The actual date we move to wheelie bins as our new kerbside collection service will be dependent on our contractor and the availability of our preferred wheelie bin.

In addition the change may not happen across the city at the same time.

We may need to phase in the new kerbside collection service for different areas.

We'll let you know what we’re doing nearer the time.

  • Reduction in carbon emissions.
  • Reduction in methane emissions by preventing organic waste from going to landfill and recycling it, for example, through composting. Methane is one of the biggest contributors to our GHG in our region.
  • Reduction in the number of plastic bags going to landfill.
  • Protecting the environment from chemicals and substances which are sometimes disposed of incorrectly.
  • Improved health and safety of our contractors with the reduction of repetitive or sudden strain injuries through the manual handling of plastic bags, and a reduction in cuts, scratches and lacerations from objects protruding from plastic bags.
  • Reduction in toxic emissions and leachate poisoning from toxic organic waste disposal to landfills.
  • Introduction of wheelie bins will standardise the kerbside collection service throughout Tairāwhiti Gisborne.
  • With wheelie bins rubbish can be put out the night before.

For an approximate guidance bins could be any of the following sizes:

  • 60 litre bin = one rubbish bag
  • 120 litre bin = 2 rubbish bags
  • 240 litre bin = 4 rubbish bags

Those areas that are currently covered by the kerbside collection service

A new system will have some additional costs which will have an impact on rates.

We won’t know fully what the additional costs are until a final system and new contract is settled.

We currently provide kerbside collection for 19,744 dwellings at a cost of approximately $2.4m annually.

Costs to deliver the wheelie bin service are currently under investigation and cost comparatives will be provided in the final report for decision at the Council meeting.

These changes will not affect our rural township transfer stations.