Kerbside collection changes FAQs

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​I haven't been able to collect my crates and bin yet how can I put out my recycling and refuse?

If you still need to collect your crates/bin please call our contractor Trevor on 029 772 1187​.

What if I still have some black council refuse bags left?

You can continue to use any left over black council refuse bags. You can also use them to take waste to the Opotiki Resource Recovery Centre at no charge.

What happens if I lose or damage the crates and/or bin?

Replacement recycling crates and refuse bins can be purchased from Opotiki District Council at 108 St John Street, Opotiki.

The cost for a new recycling crate is $14.00

The cost for a new refuse bin (complete with wheels and lid) is $35​.00

What happens if the collection contractor damages my crates and bin?

Council has implemented new processes which require contractors to set bins back on the kerbside with due care. Not dropped or thrown but upright and tidy. If a contractor breaks a bin, Council will replace it. If a ratepayer breaks their bin they can purchase a replacement or component parts. Council are installing cameras on the collection vehicles to monitor the pick-up service which will enable us to see how any damage has occurred.​

Do I have to put a liner in my refuse bin?

If you want to put a liner in your refuse bin you can but you don't have to.

Can I take the crates/bin with me if I move house?

No. The crates and bin are allocated to the property, so if you move to a new house you need to leave them behind.

​What are the numbers that are on my crates and bin?

​These need to stay on the crates and bin and are unique identifiers based on the address of the property that the crates and bin have been allocated to. Please take a record in case the number gets worn off. Failure to display the unique bin number may result in your waste not being collected.

​How can Antenno help me keep track of which recyclables I need to put out each week?

Download the Antenno app and load your home address as a favourite place to receive reminders each week on which recyclables to put out. You'll also get notifications if collection days are changing for any reason. You can also use Antenno to send us photos and reports of any issues. You can read more on our Antenno app information page​.

What happens if my crates or bin are stolen?

Unfortunately, as with anything, there are some people that will take the opportunity to steal. Council has noted in the information pamphlet provided with the crates and bin that once received and signed for they are owned by the property owner.

To help combat theft the crates and bin have a unique number assigned to them. As per the instructions in the information flyer, owners are advised to take note of their number and if the stickers come off (for whatever reason) the number must be re-drawn on (with a vivid etc.) in large text.

As far as is practical all properties will be monitored for set out of additional bin. If a bin has been set out with the wrong property number and has been reported stolen (or does not have a number) then Council will not pick it up. Council may also seek to identify the individual that has set out the additional bin and prosecute for theft or fraud.

If your crate or bin has been stolen we can replace it at cost.​

Why did Council change the urban kerbside collection service?

1 - To improve the recycling collection method. Improvements considered fairness and increased volume.

The original scheme was for only one recycling bin. In the years following Council relaxed its collection rules to allow rate payers to set out more than the 1 bin utilising single use plastic supermarket bags to bundle recycling. this was not the fairest approach and many households on the collection were starting to set out significantly more recycling than had originally been conceived and charged for under the targeted rate. Council has decided the fairest practical approach with the new service is to base recycling volumes collected on the average household, approximately 3 people.

2 - Animal strike of the plastic refuse bags was a concern to many ratepayers.

To prevent animal strike Council have replaced the old Council issued plastic refuse bags with bins that have lockable lids, wheels, a draw handle and about 80% more capacity than the old bag.

3 - Single use plastic supermarket bags have been phased out.

Our old collection method relied on these bags to tidily set out recycling so an alternative had to be provided. Crates were chosen because they could still be lifted manually. This meant Council would not need an expensive collection truck with an automated arm for lifting. There is a much lower burden on rates with the use of the crates.​

Why did Council choose the refuse bins?

The bins were chosen for the following reasons:

  • Their locking function
  • Their wheels and draw handle for transporting to kerb
  • They were still small enough to be lifted manually
  • They were slightly larger than the old plastic bags - 25L vs 45L
  • They have been successfully trialled overseas
  • They were manufactured in a large factory which provided good production rates which kept​ costs to the ratepayer down.

I don't think the recycling crates are big enough, especially for plastics. Why are they this size?

The recycling crates were set at this size for multiple reasons as follows:

The crates were set to allow for the amount of recycling that should be created by the average household. Approximately 3 people. The average household is used because rates are charged equally for the kerbside collection. If the collection was expanded to cater for the large households then the small households would be subsidising the large ones. Providing crates for the average household is the fairest practical way.

No recycled materials are free. Council does get a return for some recyclables but the return does not offset the cost to collect, process, bail and transport then to market. Plastics are the worst of the recyclables. They have the lowest return per tonne. Only plastics 1, 2 and 5 have a return. Plastics 3, 4, 6 and 7 cannot go to market. At the moment Council is storing these plastics in anticipation of central government creating plastic recycling facilities in New Zealand now that China no longer receives them. Council does not want to put these plastics into landfill.

Tin and glass provide the highest returns, still costing more to get to market than the market pays, but at least better overall than plastic. Council has provided equal volume tin and glass crates to encourage people to buy tin and glass over plastic. Especially tin. For example instead of buying sachet pasta sauce, buy jarred pasta sauce, even better buy tinned pasta sauce.

I have a large household, what do I do with my additional refuse and recycling?

Take it to the Resource Recovery Centre (RRC). There will be a charge for refuse and recycling. The charge is less if your recycling is sorted.

All waste costs Council (and therefore the ratepayer) to take away whether it be from the kerbside or the RRC. If you create more waste than the average household then you should pay extra. The RRC is run mainly on the charges for the waste that it receives at the gate.

Why should I change my recycling to suit Council's collection?

Council has a zero waste policy. Council is always trying to encourage ratepayers and residents to think responsibly about the waste they produce for the sake of the environment. Providing a collection is one way to change waste habits. If you create more waste, or more of a certain type of waste, than that provided by the collection, then the fairest approach is for you to take your waste to the Resource Recovery Centre and pay more.

What if I don't have a car to take my extra waste to the Resource Recovery Centre?

There are multiple waste collection companies that will take your additional waste. 

I have a large household, can I opt out of the collection scheme and just take all my waste to the Resource Recovery Centre?

Unfortunately this is not feasible. If Council allowed those on the collection to opt out then the scheme cost would increase for those that remained.

Council recommends that those that create more waste continue to use the scheme and take excess waste to the Resource Recovery Centre. ​

Why did Council purchase 4 recycling crates instead of 2 when the collection is every two weeks? Is this making rates go up?

Council chose to provide 4 recycling crates so there would be a crate to store each type of recycling in over each two week period. If only 2 bins had been provided there would be no receptacle for ratepayers to put their other recyclables in unless they purchase bins themselves. As Council purchases in bulk it is cheaper for the ratepayer if Council buys the crates.

The cost of the bins and crates is not the main reason behind the increase in rates. The main driver is the additional time required to collect. It may not seem like a big change but the time to collect all the waste from bins and crates has been estimated to take approximately 150% longer. Therefore the cost to collect is approximately 150% more. The cost of the bins and crates over an estimated life of 5-10 years only adds an additional 3-6% to waste collection ​rates.​

​​How can I make a difference to reduce ​household waste?
  • Grow your own
  • Buy in bulk
  • Make it from scratch - for example to avoid buying non-recyclable pots of yoghurt, make your own homemade yoghurt
  • Make simple switches for products that come in no packaging or recyclable packaging
  • Reuse glass or plastic containers
  • Mend and repair clothing and household items
  • Swap food and household items with families and friends.

​There are many ways you can have a huge impact on how much waste you generate. It starts with being intentional and conscious with what you buy and consume.​​

How can I reduce my use of plastic?

There are loads of simple swaps and changes that every household can make to reduce their use of plastics and contribute to overall waste minimisation.

Make product packaging a factor in your purchasing decisions and aim to generate as little waste as possible with what your household consumes.

  • ​Choose products that come in glass jars, tins or cardboard rather than plastic. All are easily recyclable and you can repurpose glass jars for dry goods and food storage.
  • Switch to bar soap instead of shower gels
  • Switch to bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic.
  • Keep reusable bags for groceries and produce in your car to avoid plastic bags
  • Buy in bulk using reusable or paper bags
  • Make your own or use refillable cleaning products
  • Bring your own containers / keep cup for takeaway foods or dine-in
  • If you are a big consumer of carbonated drinks, consider investing in a soda stream to make your own.
  • Avoid products where the items are individually wrapped (i.e. snack foods, teabags)​​

I live in a rural area. Will I get the crates and bin?

The crates and bin are only being delivered to properties on the urban kerbside collection route. Ratepayers on the urban kerbside collection route pay a targeted rate to receive this service. If you are not on the route you will not receive the crates and bin.

Can I take the crates and/or bin to the Resource Recovery Centre for free disposal?

No. They are just for collection from the kerbside. At the start of the new service you are allowed to take any left-over black council refuse bags you have to the Resource Recovery Centres (RRCs) at no charge and/or put them out for collection. Anything else you take to the RRCs has a charge. This is because when you put your crates and refuse bin out for the Tuesday collection you have already paid for this service through a targeted rate. When you take things to the RRCs this needs to be on a user pays basis as the operation of the centres is not covered by that targeted rate. All ratepayers contribute in some way to the cost of operating the RRCs but most of the cost needs to be covered by those using them.

Details on RRC charges are on our website here: ​​Resource Recovery Centres

When do I sign for the crates and bin?

You sign for them when you get them.​

I have lost my calendar or pamphlet. Can I get replacements?

Yes. We have spares available. You can call in to our office at 108 St John Street Opotiki to collect. You can also view a copy of the calendars and information on our website and if you download the Antenno app​ you will get reminders on what types of recycling need to go out each week straight to your phone.​

Page reviewed: 03 Dec 2019 9:28am