System ‘not practical’

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Bit rubbish...Gore resident Michelle Cleaver is puzzled to see a full red bin out for emptying on a yellow bin week. SANDY EGGLESTON

Gore resident Michelle Cleaver says the council’s new rubbish collection scheme is not working.

Under the new rubbish collection rules, which began on June 29, only glass is allowed in the yellow bin, while residents can put household waste, plastics, paper, sanitary items, steel cans and food waste in the red bin.

The red wheelie bin is now collected weekly, for three consecutive weeks, and the yellow wheelie bin collected every fourth week.

Last week it was the yellow bins’ turn to be emptied.

Mrs Cleaver said she noticed when it was the yellow rubbish bin week, people still put out their red bins.

One red bin in Kitchener St caught her eye on the way to the supermarket on Wednesday morning.

“I saw one that was really full and thought people are not going to have anywhere to put their rubbish and if that’s a week’s worth of rubbish, then next week when it’s collected they are going to have another wheelie bin of rubbish,”‘ Mrs Cleaver said.

In the past, plastic, cardboard and paper items could be put in the yellow bin but now had to be put in the red bin.

“It’s not practical.. if you think about it, 99% of your average household’s rubbish is going to be red bin rubbish now they’ve made it a glass only policy [for the yellow bins].”

It would take her family months to fill the yellow bin with glass.

“We would have to have a whopping great party here with heaps and heaps of people in order to fill up that wheelie bin.”

“I don’t see the point of putting it out if it’s not full.”

This week, only one red bin appeared in her street for emptying.

“No-one else bothered putting out their recycling bins at all and so when the truck came in he saw one red wheelie bin and just did a circuit of the cul de sac and back out again.”

It seemed a waste of resources for a truck to be collecting contents of bins when not many were out to be emptied.

She did not think council staff had thought through the logistics of the new scheme and “how it impacts on residents”.

It would make more sense for the council to collect the red bins every week and have a smaller tub for glass, she said.

Research completed by The Ensign on Thursday at 7.15am revealed four yellow and five red bins had been put out for collection in Hokonui Dr.

Gore District Council transport manager Peter Standring said people needed to think about how much waste they put out in the bins.

“It is important to continue the thinking of waste minimisation,” Mr Standring said.

“The focus now is on reducing and re-using what we would traditionally put to waste.”

It usually took time for people to adapt to changes.

“We can appreciate those who feel frustrated.”

The feedback the council received through social media kept it up to date with what the community was thinking about the new rubbish collection, he said.

While the glass collection process at present was not perfect, creating more capacity for waste might not be the answer either.