Thursday, May 23, 2024

Low Cost Bins scores Whanganui contract

Whanganui District Council has confirmed Low Cost Bins as the contractor for a new kerbside recycling service – with the service to begin in July 2024.

As part of the tender process, the Council reviewed 11 different options from businesses across New Zealand. Based on a range of criteria, Low Cost Bins was selected as the contractor best placed to deliver the services, the Council said in a statement.

Whanganui Mayor, Andrew Tripe says the introduction of the service is a major step forward for Whanganui in terms of reducing environmental impact and promoting a more circular local economy.

“After many years in the works, it’s great that we can now firmly say that our kerbside recycling collection service will begin in July this year, benefiting households in urban areas of Whanganui as well as some of our larger rural settlements including Mowhanau, Fordell, and Marybank,” he said.

“The service will be funded by a targeted rate applied to households in the service area, supplemented by ongoing subsidies from the Ministry of the Environment’s Waste Levy. These subsidies aim to reduce the financial burden on our ratepayers while supporting efficient management of waste.”

Prior to the launch of the service, households within the service area will receive a set of three crates which can each be used to recycle either paper and cardboard, plastics and cans, or glass bottles and jars. These crates will enable residents to conveniently sort their recyclables and reduce waste sent to landfill.

Council community property and places general manager, Sarah O’Hagan says the decision to use a crate-based system, rather than wheelie bins, is based on evidence that crates are less prone to contamination – which has been a major issue for bin-based recycling services across New Zealand.

“The big advantage of crates is that our contractors will clearly see the contents of them when they collect the recyclables – meaning they can quickly identify contamination. Recycling is hugely important, but only impactful when done properly. So, we’ll be a putting a huge emphasis on educating the community on sorting material well, so we can avoid issues other regions have faced,” she said.

Low Cost Bins Limited chief operating officer, Andrew Sclater said he was enthusiastic about the launch of the new service and believes his company’s local knowledge will be crucial.

“As one of the few Kiwi-owned waste and recycling companies, and with our founder Colin Cashmore having lived in Whanganui and built longstanding business contributions to the region, Low Cost is in a unique position to deliver this service.”

“We’ve provided waste services to Whanganui for several years now and we’re confident that our extensive local knowledge will help ensure the successful rollout of kerbside recycling here.”

Mr Sclater says another important element of the new service is its potential to stimulate local employment, thanks in part to the adoption of a crate-based recycling system.

“As well as reducing contamination and improving the quality of recyclables, the crate-based system will provide local job opportunities – with materials being collected and sorted by hand in Whanganui (rather than heading to a mechanical sort line in another region),” he said.

Councillor Rob Vinsen, who has long championed waste issues in Whanganui, says he was very pleased that Council was finally bringing the service to reality.

“Whanganui has been an outlier in not having this service – we’re one of just a handful of councils in New Zealand yet to introduce kerbside recycling,” he said.

“Thankfully we’ve had the Resource Recovery Centre – and plenty of our local community members have been recycling diligently there. But the lack of a convenient kerbside service has undoubtedly been an obstacle for many would-be recyclers – so it’s great we’ve finally got this across the line.”

Council says it will provide detailed information about the new services, including guidelines on correct recycling practices using the crate system, in the coming months.

Low Cost Bins will also partner with Council to deliver a kerbside food scraps collection service to urban households in Whanganui, starting from July 2025.

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