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West Auckland rubbish bin update

Switching from bags to bins

Published: 24 August 2017

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Update on west Auckland's new rubbish bin service.
PAYT West Auckland
A bin tag costs $3.80. You can fit the equivalent of two bags into a standard bin.

There’s been plenty of talk recently about Auckland Council’s new rubbish bin service for west Auckland, which starts on 2 October. Here are some answers to questions you’ve been asking about making the switch from bags to bins.    

Is my house in the new collection area?

The new service is available to all streets in the Henderson-Massey and Waitākere Ranges local board areas, and in parts of the Whau and Upper Harbour local board areas.

Suburbs include West Harbour, Massey West, Massey East, Te Atatū Peninsula, Te Atatū South, Lincoln Road, Henderson, Rānui, Swanson, Western Heights, McLaren Park, Glendene, Green Bay, New Lynn and Kelston. Areas west of the Greenhithe Bridge, Hobsonville, Herald Island and Whenuapai are also included.

How much do pre-paid tags cost?

Pre-paid tags will be on sale for $3.80 per bin tag. Starting on 15 September you’ll be able to buy bin tags at your supermarket checkout, dairies and petrol stations. You can also buy them at Auckland Council service centres, libraries and the Waitākere Transfer Station.

How do I attach the tag?

The tag works like an airport luggage tag – on the back of the tag instructions explain how to place the tag around the bin handle. Attach the tag to the left-hand bin handle so our collectors can see them.

What if someone steals my tag?

The tag design includes a security cut to prevent it being peeled off easily once the tag is stuck together. This means that if someone takes a tag off your bin they won’t be able to use it for themselves. 

Each tag has a space to write your address as an additional security feature. This will help rubbish collection runners inspect and identify if tags have been stolen and re-used.   

What about other people dumping rubbish in my bin?

Under the Solid Waste Bylaw 2012 it is an offence to put items into someone else’s bin without their permission. This is considered illegal dumping and those who do it can face fines of up to $400. 

If you see anyone dumping rubbish into someone else’s bin, please report it to Auckland Council by calling 09 301 0101.

Why are bins better for the environment? Surely the same amount of rubbish will go to landfill?

A lot of residents have asked for rubbish bins instead of bags because they are more convenient, cleaner and safer for everyone – bins can’t be ripped open by animals (which creates mess on our streets) and they also help protect people from being cut by sharp items.

Switching from bags to bins is the better environmental choice for Auckland  without the need to use orange council pre-paid rubbish bags, using a rubbish bin will reduce the number of plastic bags sent to landfill.

Why does west Auckland pay for rubbish collection when the rest of Auckland gets it for free?

In the next few years all of Auckland will move to the new pay-as-you-throw rubbish bin service and use rubbish bins and pre-paid tags.

Residents in the former Auckland City and Manukau City areas currently pay for their rubbish as part of their rates. They will receive a reduction in their rates when they move to the new pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) rubbish bin service. 

Are pre-paid tags cheaper than rubbish bags?

The new pay-as-you-throw rubbish bin service is flexible and focused on value for money  you only pay when you decide you need your bin collected. So, the less often you put your rubbish bin out, the more money you will save.

There are further potential savings to be made by minimising waste, recycling correctly and reusing food waste for composting where possible. Currently, we estimate that up to 40 per cent of space in rubbish bins is taken up by food waste. 

Following these steps can further help you reduce the overall amount of rubbish you put in your rubbish bin.  

What if I don’t fill a bin every week and my bin gets smelly? 

The new rubbish bin service will continue to run weekly. However, the less often you put your rubbish bins out, the more money you will save.

Rubbish bins should not smell or become messy if recycling items are put in the recycling bin, and food waste is put into compostable liners before being put into the rubbish bin.

If you don’t want to place food waste in your rubbish bin, composting, worm farms and using a Bokashi bin are all good options.

Can people continue to use the bags?

Orange council bags will continue to be collected in west Auckland until March 2018, so anyone with a stock of bags can use them up.   

To find out more, or to request a bin if you don’t have one, go to makethemostofwaste.co.nz