Quickie rewrite makes bin deal user-friendly

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Council wheelie bin contracts are now customer-friendly thanks to a snap re-write.

Queenstown Lakes District Council lawyers moved quickly to overhaul key contract wording after Mountain Scene last week pointed out potential double-dipping, confirms solid waste boss Stefan Borowy.

The contract covers the $200 yearly rental of QLDC’s new 120-litre general rubbish bin – weekly collections start in October.

Last week’s wording meant householders leaving town part-way through a 12-month hire were banned from transferring bin contracts to incoming owners or tenants – and got no refunds on unused time.

Yet QLDC was free to re-hire bins to someone else, charging them afresh for unused time already paid for.

This week’s wording means contracts are transferable – with QLDC’s blessing – and refunds will be given in “exceptional circumstances”, including leaving the Wakatipu “due to circumstances beyond their control”.

Redundancy, ill-health? “That’s correct and we’ll consider those on a case-by-case basis,” Borowy says.
“It’s something we thought would be fairer to residents.”

Also fairer is who pays for loss or damage to bins. Last week the cost was totally covered by householders – “due to any cause whatsoever”, the contract said. That could even have been damage caused by council rubbish collectors.

This week’s wording limits householder liability to loss or damage “caused by the customer”.

“We’re grateful for Mountain Scene pointing those things out and it makes it fairer for the community going forward,” Borowy says.