Unlawful recycling costs Waipā ratepayers
Contaminated recycling is costing Waipā District ratepayers up to $20,000 a month in disposal fees.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of contaminated bins identified during recent bin audits, resulting in repeat offenders now facing a three-month suspension of their recycling collection.
Waipā District Council waste minimisation team leader Sarabjeet Singh said items being discovered in bins included food waste, nappies, animal carcasses, and medical waste.
“It is essential that there are consequences for abusing the service and if we don’t suspend the offenders then it is going to keep costing the ratepayers who do comply.”
“Contaminated materials that get mixed in with the good recycling can compromise the whole truck load,” Singh said.
In the Waipā District, we only recycle glass, paper, cardboard and plastics 1, 2 and 5, and cans/tins which must be clean and dry. It is an offence under Waipā District Council’s solid waste management and minimisation bylaw 2018 to place non-compliant waste in kerbside recycling bins.
If a recycling bin contains contaminated items, the bin will be stickered and an information flyer will be left in the letterbox. Residents must remove the contaminant and dispose of it in their general rubbish, then the recycling bin can then be placed kerbside at the next collection date.
When a collection is suspended, offenders will need to work with Council staff to have their collections restarted after the three-month period and can do this by calling 0800 WAIPA DC (924 723).
An example of contaminated recycling put out for collection this week included garden waste and flammable materials.
An example of contaminated recycling put out for collection this week included raw meat.