The new collections will start the week after 1 July 2023, so the first collection of the new service will be Monday 3 July.
The new bins will start to appear around the district in the weeks leading up to the new contract. Getting the bins out is quite a complicated operation so our new contractor is still working out the logistics for this. We will give more details closer to the time.
Alongside the rest of New Zealand we are having to look for better ways to manage our waste and make better use of the resources we have. It is becoming less and less acceptable to send everything to landfill and expect our waste problems to just disappear.
From our sampling of red bins throughout the district we found nearly half of the contents was either food scraps or greenwaste, so when we asked for waste companies to tender for this year's new contract, we asked them for a solution for this.
We have also been hearing for some while from residents who have lived in other parts of the country that have green bins, that these would be a great idea!
Finding a better option for almost half of the red bin contents allows us to follow best practice in waste management and provide smaller general waste red bins. The new red bins are 140L in size, so about 1½ bin bags smaller than the current bin.
We have heard feedback from residents that the glass collection service at 8-weekly intervals is too infrequent so have made it a monthly collection. The other change with this is that the yellow bin will not be missed on this collection week, as it is currently.
Envirowaste, our new contractor, is still working through the logistics of how this will happen.
We will have more details closer to the time but at the moment we expect that on a red bin collection week in the lead-up to July you will be asked to put out all three of your current bins. The red bin will be emptied as usual.
During this collection cycle the red lid will be swapped for a bright green lid and this will be your new bin for food scraps and greenwaste. A new 140L red bin will be delivered and a bin latch will be screwed to the lid of your yellow bin. All three of your existing bins will have their serial number checked and your address sticker will be updated.
When the green bin collection starts in July, the green bin contents will go to the Redruth composting facility in Timaru. This allows us to deal with organic waste from Day 1 of our new contract. We wanted to introduce a green bin collection but thought we would have to wait two to three years until a new organics processing facility in Central Otago was built.
It’s still the aim to have our own facility in Central Otago, but in the meantime we can get our organic waste (food scraps and green waste) composted in Timaru. Carting our organic waste to Timaru in diesel trucks isn’t ideal, but the reduction in landfill costs for all of us, as well as the lowering of landfill methane production for the next 2-3 years offsets that.
The organics collection will be commercially composted. This means that the compost will get to very high temperatures, which can destroy noxious weed seeds and pathogens. Once the compost is made, we will have it available for purchase at our transfer stations, and our Parks team will use it on our parks and reserves throughout the district.
This new service is a big change and may take time to settle in. Prepare to have some patience with the inevitable teething issues, both for your household and the collecting contractor.
You will need to think about where your bins can be stored on your property. Can you have the green bin somewhere handy to collect food scraps from your kitchen? If it's tucked down at the end of the section, it may not get used very much.
Our new contract allows for assisted services. If you are elderly or have a medical condition that means putting the bins out is difficult, you will be able to apply for an assisted service. Please keep an eye open for details. We will also liaise with care agencies to help us find those people who may need this service.
Do you have a holiday home in the district or have a holiday home as one of your neighbours? Think about how to get all the bins at these properties out for the week when the new bins will be delivered.
How will you collect your kitchen scraps? Do you already have a compost container? Could you use an old ice cream tub or something similar? Do you need to get a kitchen caddy? We are in the process of applying to the Ministry for the Environment for funding for some kitchen caddies and hope to have some available for residents.