Council responds to recycling feedback

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Gore District Council is responding to public criticism of its proposed new rubbish service by changing it before it has even begun.

From Monday, June 29 the red bin for general rubbish will be collected for three consecutive weeks and the yellow bin for recycled glass would be collected every fourth week.

The initial proposal had been that yellow and red bins would be collected on alternate weeks.

At the Gore District Council extraordinary meeting last week the matter was discussed.

Gore mayor Tracy Hicks said the council had received “advice and comments from a wide variety of people”.

The public concern was this did not focus enough on general rubbish collection now that plastics would be part of that category.

The yellow bin would be only for glass.

Plastics would be relegated to the red bin as per the original plan.

It was difficult to ask people to change the good recycling habits they had developed over the last few years, Mr Hicks said.

“The opportunities for recycling have become very, very limited.”

The council hoped that this would only be a temporary situation until recycling opportunities were improved.

Chief executive Stephen Parry said that recycling opportunities remained.

Cardboard would “find its way to Pakeke Lions.”

He emphasised that green waste disposal would now be free of charge at Gore Transfer Station.

Cardboard and aluminium can banks would also be available.

“This is about scale,” Mr Parry said.

After the meeting Mr Parry said it was a reflection of the decrease in recycling exports overseas to places like India and China.

“We appreciate it’s not perfect and in years to come, when the recycling market improves, there may be an opportunity to review it.”

On a more local level, the change was made after the council decided to switch from its current recycling provider Southland disAbility Enterprises to its new provider Smart Environmental.

The new waste service was the best option as there would be no cost increases to customers, Mr Parry said.