trash-collection

That is the inescapable conclusion from the letter received from the council and posted on 27 March.

In its latest issue the Otaki Mail freebie on page 3 lists the prices charged by the 4 present service providers.

The one we use is Low Cost Bins which has a service for an 80-litre bin (1.3 times a 60 litre plastic bag) collected kerbside weekly that works out at an equivalent of $3.40 a week.

Included in that is a big 240-litre recycling wheelie bin that is collected fortnightly.

Can the council offer a better service than that?  Not according to its letter.  “$8 -10 per bag per week” plus “$40 – $60 per household per annum” for the recycling bin. That works out to between $450 — $580 a year compared to $177 from Low Cost Bins.

Inefficiency and over-staffing are the hallmarks of the KCDC and if the council says it would charge much more, then that can be believed, even if the magnitude of the difference is extraordinary.

There has been comment about minimising waste and Cr Cootes says a bit about that on page 9 of the same Otaki Mail issue.

Most rubbish consists of packaging of consumer products (plus newspapers and junkmail) and it’s hard to avoid that since that’s the way most are sold.  There are, however, a few things that could be done at the national level such as “swap a crate” for beer, soft drink and wine glass bottles.

Food scraps will naturally decompose, releasing methane, and one thing the council could do at its ‘transfer stations’ is create a means of collecting that gas and selling it as compressed natural gas: just plug “biogas generator” into a search engine.

In fact, people can do that themselves with backyard neighbourhood versions, although the amount of gas collected will be small.

If you can’t fill a 80-litre bin by yourself a week, why not share the service with a neighbour?

None of this, of course, excuses the subterfuge that council staff like to engage in by claiming that there is no rates component for rubbish collection after having abandoned it, when rates have massively increased over the past decade.