Rubbish teething problems


City Hall won’t say if it’ll take action against its former waste contractor after issues with the new site have caused headaches across the board.

The new system, announced last June and introduced on July 1, sees contents of our three bins go to different places – rubbish to landfill, glass to Auckland’s O-I factory, and mixed recycling to Queenstown’s recovery facility.

But last week the council admitted it dumped 25 tonnes of recycling in the landfill because changes to its Materials Recovery Facility weren’t completed in time.

Additionally, the unseasonably warm winter means rats have added to the challenges at the site.

While rodents aren’t uncommon visitors, the increased volume’s created a health and safety hazard, so the council’s had to fumigate the facility.

Council maintenance and ops manager Erin Moogan says the council hasn’t decided what, if any, action it’ll take against former contractor Smart Environmental for the problems to date.

And the cost of getting the facility up to scratch is still unknown.

Meantime, a whopping 1177 requests for service have been sent to the contractor, 12 to the council’s contract manager and two official complaints have been made since the new service started.

Both the official complaints relate to people making multiple requests to have bins delivered, to no avail.

Council spokesman Jack Barlow says the new bin roll-out has been a “widespread and complex operation”.

“Of the 54,000 delivered, the vast majority have been rolled out successfully,” he says.

“However, as people are aware, there have been some initial issues regarding the delivery of bins in some areas.”

He points out requests for service aren’t necessarily complaints and relate to letting the council know about missed bins or collections.

“Therefore, there are often multiple requests for properties; it does not mean 1177 properties have been without bins.”.