Press Release – Kapiti Coast District Council
Considerable competition from private service providers has raised the issue of whether Council should continue to supply rubbish bags and undertake rubbish collection and recycling.
The issue arose at the first workshop councillors have held to discuss the contents of the Draft Annual Plan for 2013/14.
“The issue is this,” said workshop chair Ross Church, “should we try and compete with private contractors who are doing the job more cheaply, or are we better to maintain a clear regulatory framework that ensures the correct level of services continue?”
The Local Government Act makes clear that local authorities have to have a regard to the issue of solid waste but do not have to deliver the service themselves. A recent amendment also says councils must look to provide services in the most cost-effective way.
There are currently four wheelie bin operators on the coast. All of them provide recycling facilities and two provide rubbish bags.
The bags generally sell for around $2.80 whereas the Council bags cost $3.60. Last year 308,000 Council bags were sold. This year the figure could drop to as low as 130,000.
“As a result, we are now looking at various options. One is for Council to exit from the sale of rubbish bags and from kerbside collection, given the number of private contractors who are providing the service at a cheaper rate.
“Another includes Council taking over all kerbside recycling. The downside of this, however, is the annual cost at $700,000 to $800,000. This would increase rates by 1.7%.”
Mr Church said councillors were only looking at options at this point and that more information would be available at a workshop planned for February 28.
Councillors are also looking at a range of options concerning the operation of the Waikanae and Otaki drop-off centres. To keep the Waikanae centre operating as it is, would require an extra $15,000 a year. This could be funded by a targeted rate or the operating hours could be reduced.
The contract for the Otaki drop-off centre is coming to an end. This will be extended to early next year when consideration would be given to a new operating contract.