Environmentalists outraged by loss of low-carbon service
By Deidre Kent, of Low Carbon Kapiti
So that’s the end of yellow rubbish bags is it? Envirowaste, finding it wasn’t making enough profit from the users of bags, will no longer sell the yellow rubbish bags.
If the Neighbourly site is anything to go by, with 107 replies to a question, outraged bag users, the very people who reduce waste, are saying they fill a bag every 2-6 weeks.
They need a real alternative now with a built-in mechanism for rewarding waste reduction.
Forced to pay for an un-needed service
A common comment is “I put one bag out every month and I object to being forced to pay $20 a month for a bin service that I would hardly ever use.”
Various Facebook sites are equally active and there is even a suggestion to dump black bags at the council on 24-25 March.
Since Council decided to hand rubbish collection to private companies in 2013, they have reduced their waste staff, have no waste committee and councillors tend to leave it all up to Cr Jackie Elliott, KCDC’s one representative on the Regional Waste Forum.
Performance doesn’t match talk
Against nice rhetoric about waste reduction and an official waste reduction target of 30% by 2026, our waste to landfill still increases.
KCDC gets poor data from the companies and they are losing control. They can no longer set prices at transfer stations because Otaihanga is
managed by Midwest and Otaki is managed by Envirowaste.
Kapiti puts out more than twice as much waste per capita as Christchurch, which does theirs completely in-house and collects organics. Tauranga is moving back to a rates-funded waste collection.
During the Council waste audit in September 2017 they found that 64.4% of bins content were either recycling or organics (food and garden waste).
The bigger the bin, the bigger proportion of green waste, which when buried produces methane, a greenhouse gas 20-30 times as potent as carbon dioxide.
‘Stop licensing 240 litre bins’
Our organisation, Low Carbon Kapiti wanted council to stop licensing 240 litre bins to reduce waste, but find this change could take years to implement.
Now overnight the option at the other end of the scale, used by people that throw out the least, has been taken away.
On Neighbourly there are some excellent suggestions for user pays e.g. using bins yet buying a tag to attach to it when you put it out, as in Auckland.
Paekakariki residents are particularly angry because they have no transfer station so they can’t take their black bags there.
So far Council’s response is entirely inadequate.