Trash talk over Tauranga rubbish

Foreign takeovers, political schism, rates rises, job losses and betrayal by bureaucrats - the six yearly review of Tauranga City’s rubbish collection is proving a rich brew.

Tauranga City Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee is today expected to seek public feedback on a complete turnaround in the way the city’s rubbish is collected – and who pays for it.

John Cruikshank is nervous about the future.

The proposal, as it stands, calls for every household to have four plastic rubbish bins, and for the collection to be ratepayer funded.

If the city council continues to push for the rates increase model, it will also mean locally owned rubbish collectors Kleana Bins will have to lay-off about two thirds of its staff, says Kleana Bins director John Cruickshank.

Collecting rubbish from the four new ratepayer funded plastic rubbish bins will go to one of the foreign owned rubbish collectors.

Kleana Bins and Bin Boys are locally owned and operated, the rest are foreign owned.

Environmental Green Bins is owned by Waste Management which is believed to be owned by a Chinese corporate called Beijing Capital. The other big residential operator, JJ Richards is Australian owned, trading through a New Zealand registered company. Envirowaste which operates the transfer stations is also Chinese owned.

The council is basing the call for change on a claim that 30 per cent of rubbish is food waste. John doesn’t believe that and asked the council to do a bit of sampling.

He offered to loan a truck so city council staff could collect a couple of dozen bins every day for a week, and sort through the rubbish, picking out the food waste, green waste, recycling and whatever other rubbish they find.

“Council staff says we’ll do that after we have taken a decision,” says John.

The regime change is based on unsupported figures that John describes as ‘absolute crock’.

Council staff and consultants originally claimed the average Tauranga household spends $600 a year on rubbish collection, and that the four bin rates funded regime will cost only $170.

The real cost is $250-$260, says John.

“They have revised the claim down to $313, but I think that’s still way above what the real figure is. Unless somebody does some serious market research we are not going to know.

“My average customer in Tauranga spends about $280 a year, but we have a lot of door to door bins which are more expensive. We think our average is a bit higher than some of the others.

“There would be a lot of elderly people who perhaps only have a recycle bin from a contractor and on top of that put out one bag of rubbish every three or four weeks, so they are only spending about $100 a year,” says John.

“I’ve got plenty of customers who have one small bin and they get it emptied every four weeks because that’s what they need, and they are spending about $100 a year or so. I’m pretty confident the average is more like $250.”

The council figure was just the collection cost and didn’t include the disposal cost of trucking the rubbish to the Waikato and paying for it to go in the landfill, says John.

“You can add $100 to that minimum.”

Nor is it factoring in the massive capital cost of providing every city household with four bins.

“I don’t think their figures are credible.”

Three cities with good information about ratepayer funded rubbish collections on tier websites are Christchurch, Timaru and Whakatane.

They have three-bin systems instead of four bins, and the costs range from $260-$270 a year, says John.

“Based on that my guess is by the time you add a fourth bin on you are not going to get any change out of $230-$240.”

The six yearly review of rubbish collection is a legal requirement under the Waste Minimisation Act of 2008, which requires the councils to reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill and to recycle more.

The proposed rubbish collection change is in response to a report by Eunomia Research and Consulting which claims that neither the western bay of plenty district or Tauranga City councils achieved recycling targets set in the previous WMMP in 2010.

City Councillor Matt Cowley says the decision facing council is not final or binding and simply allows the council to claim government funding to further explore the issue.

“The decision that we will pretty much next week proposing to adopt the waste minimisation plan, essentially that’s to say should we look at this in more detail,” says Matt.

“The decision through the plan is ‘there’s an opportunity here should we look at it further’.

“So the plan will enable us to apply for central government funding to do further investigation.”

The earlies the city council could possibly do it is after 2019 with the new council, says Matt.

“What we are doing is making a decision to look into it further. That’s the only commitment. The next council, it will be on their agenda and if they don’t want a bar of it they can stop it.”

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Posted on 01-07-2016 08:39 | By Kenworthlogger

So all Australian companies are bad? And all New Zealand companies are like Angels?

@ Kenworthlogger

Posted on 27-06-2016 10:46 | By Crash test dummies

Lots is wrong, just take a look at the tactics of Progressive reported recently, just the tip of the iceberg.


Posted on 23-06-2016 15:24 | By Kenworthlogger

Whats wrong with Aussie companies here in NZ operating and making money? Kiwi companies operate in Australia and make money too.

TCC medeling again

Posted on 20-06-2016 09:54 | By Crash test dummies

That is all it is, Cant say happy about Aussie companies here in NZ operating and making money, but on the other side TCC will be worst, a lot worse.


Posted on 19-06-2016 18:49 | By Mackka

Have to agree with you mate - they’ll get the whole stinking lot in one bin - fish heads to drink bottles and everything else in between! To hell with recycling anything - The ’dump’ will die as far as I am concerned! Save on time and petrol :)


Posted on 19-06-2016 18:41 | By Mackka

We use one plastic rubbish bag every three weeks - we recycle metal, paper, glass and plastics etc - our food waste goes in the compost. They can keep their plastic fantastics - we don’t want a bar of them!!!!!

Kiwi ingenuity

Posted on 15-06-2016 13:22 | By Kenworthlogger

Funny how everybody here complaining about not being able to wheel that huge bin or bins up the long drive etc. last time i was in Aussie i saw vehicles hook thier bin to the back of the car and drove it up to the road. Could not see how it was done but the ederly gentalman had no trouble doing it. Im sure some clever kiwi could copy the design which allowed them to hook it on the car.

@ Riverjade

Posted on 15-06-2016 10:21 | By Crash test dummies

Agree to a point, there is one thing for sure, that if Council does rubbish it will cost $600/household or more, contractors will be around $280-300. So of course Council will take it all over if they can. The reality is that the cost of rubbish was part of rates but was offloaded. The only reason for that was to make your rates look less but truth is you are paying more for less from your rates.

You can take a horse to water but.....

Posted on 14-06-2016 17:19 | By astex

You can give me all the bins you like but I will only be dragging one to the gate. WITH EVERYTHING IN IT.

Not there responsibility

Posted on 14-06-2016 12:49 | By Riverjade

user pays, individual responsibility it is not up to the council to be involved with household rubbish


Posted on 14-06-2016 02:24 | By xenasdad

So " average Tauranga household spends $600 a year on rubbish collection", and "30% of waste is food", what utter garbage!!! A ludicrous claim, who could AFFORD to have 30% waste as food ?? Even more ridiculous to do a check AFTER the decision. I really want FOUR bins to haul up/down my drive, and I’m sure my elderly neighbour can’t wait to get her extra cardio exercise either. Time to bin all these clowns come elections.


Posted on 14-06-2016 02:20 | By Kenworthlogger

I doubt any landlord would want to have 8 or more bins sitting around their own house mate.


Posted on 13-06-2016 22:45 | By The Caveman

I’m right with you. My 87 year old mother ain’t going to drag FOUR bins down and back a 50 metre driveway each week

Council loves to meddle

Posted on 13-06-2016 20:36 | By Annalist

Private enterprise is best and the current rubbish system where we have a choice is working fine. I begin to think that council does everything possible to be unfair to business. Gyms at Baywave, bars, eateries and venues at surf clubs, all subsidised by the ratepayer but compete with ratepaying businesses. Go figure.

Whakatane rates

Posted on 13-06-2016 20:07 | By Incendiary

Rubbish collection and recycling bins don’t grow on trees people, The rates in Whakatane are nearly double of the same property size in Tauranga city. Don’t forget too that the foreign owned companies are employing local residents.

Long Ago

Posted on 13-06-2016 19:57 | By Watchdog

there was a proposal to transport Tauranga’s full quota of rubbish to the Meremere Power Station and use it to power the station, which eventually got mothballed. I am not sure what has happened to that idea, but it seem if we could generate electricity out of our rubbish it would be such a useful way to dispose of it. Why not re-think that idea!!!


Posted on 13-06-2016 19:42 | By Capt_Kaveman

i recycle what ever i can the rest goes into a collected bin i want not want council wants my cost per year under $300 + gas to the tip once a month to dump my recycles

Four bins??

Posted on 13-06-2016 18:56 | By Angel74

so we have to start sorting our rubbish only for it to mixed once it leaves our property......???? im happy with the one bin I have and happy to take it out on rubbish day.

Crazy crazy crazy.

Posted on 13-06-2016 18:29 | By sobeit

This new lot of Councillors told us they were going to save ratepayers from the last lot.Cor blimey they are miles worse.Away in outer space.Why I’d almost say ’come back Murray,all is forgiven !....nah ....but this lot can go anyway. Council used to do the rubbish and it was an expensive shambles.You paid the same regardless of usage.Grossly unfair especially to those on their own

More pain for ratepayers

Posted on 13-06-2016 18:17 | By nerak

Busy people at Eunomia, with a UK head office. What did the Eunomia report for council cost? Nobody on council capable of report generation? Obviously not. Jimmy Ehu asked the right question,


Posted on 13-06-2016 17:33 | By rosscoo

I assume this 4 bin system the council wants will only be available to ratepayers as we paying for it? So would it only be available to home owners (ratepayers)? Or will landlords pass bins on to tenants?

Must be a joke

Posted on 13-06-2016 16:42 | By whisky85

I have emphysema,live on my own,live down a long driveway.Am I expected to trundle down the driveway 4 times,with an oxygen bottle in tow!

Happy with it

Posted on 13-06-2016 16:16 | By MirellaV

I agree with him and loved the door to door service provided, without putting the bin out to the street. It’s a long drive and I’m an old lady living alone. Well done John

Rubbish the Council

Posted on 13-06-2016 15:41 | By Merlin

Rubbish the council in the October elections.We are rural and our drive is approximately 300-400 meters long.We are elderly and get an excellent door to door service from Kleena bins.Look after local business people please.


Posted on 13-06-2016 15:31 | By SML

if they think that "30 per cent of rubbish is food waste"!! Who can afford to waste THAT much food these days?! Certainly not those on benefits or the pension AND paying TCC rates, THAT’S for sure! Have a reality check BEFORE making major rubbish changes and think about the elderly and disabled population who can neither AFFORD nor PHYSICALLY MANAGE 4 rubbish bins per week - and certainly wouldn’t produce the rubbish to justify it, either! Gosh, some people really need a reality check - most people are already composting and recycling - it’s only those on high incomes that can afford to waste and produce rubbish that have no idea how to improve our environment, the rest of us have to struggle to live within our means!

What complete and utter rubbish!

Posted on 13-06-2016 15:26 | By Linaire

omg .. just leave our rubbish alone! Have the TCC got nothing better to do, and nothing better to waste our money on? Geez .. i can think of heaps of other things, that would take a priority over this! And why do the sampling AFTER a decision is made ... have councillors got no sense? Do the sampling BEFORE any decision is made .. and consult the locals first [which never happens unfortunately ..]


Posted on 13-06-2016 14:49 | By

Obviously a lot of ratepayers are paying TCC for something they are not using as they have private arrangements!


Posted on 13-06-2016 13:31 | By overit

keep your grubby hands off my rubbish thank you. I have chooks and compost bins so that deals to food scraps. We have a recycling bin so a rubbish bag only goes out every 5 weeks.

Actual stats.

Posted on 13-06-2016 13:29 | By thumbs647

In our household of 3 x adults & 4x teens we have 0% food waste (any orange peels, etc, go in the garden) and we spend $188.50 per year on rubbish collection. Those are real figures.

@The Sage

Posted on 13-06-2016 12:57 | By Jimmy Ehu

Well said sir, completely agree, how many Council mid management staff is there again?.

Happy with it

Posted on 13-06-2016 12:30 | By Moby

I’m a customer of John’s and love the door to door service provided. I’m down a long drive and every two weeks i come home to an empty bin beside my back door. I don’t have the space for 4 bins and besides that would no doubt have to remember to trundle the 4 bins all the way out to the street for pickup. no thanks !! I’d rather pay John that bit extra to do it all for me.

Put the councillors

Posted on 13-06-2016 12:08 | By squeaky

in the bin and start being proactive dealing with the issue instead of an easy "fix" blanket charging system based on no accurate info while pretending to know what people really use and want. More TCC stupidity masquerading as management. Bin the lot of them.

Support local businesses

Posted on 13-06-2016 11:12 | By The Sage

John runs a great business and the Council should be listening to him as he has years of experience. But no, typical Bureaucrats pay some pie in the sky consultants or office staff who have no actual experience in the matter. I believe consumers should have the choice of who they use and not be compelled to use some monopoly which we just know will end up costing more money and won’t provide such a flexible and excellent service. I am totally against any local body intervention which I know is simply trying to raise more revenue to fund council staff. Councillor Matt Cowleys statement that it is not legal or binding but simply allows the Council to claim Government funding to explore the issue says it all.

Too many justifying TCC Jobs

Posted on 13-06-2016 09:33 | By tabatha

It seems as though some of those employed by the CEO of TCC are realising they need to justify their existence so hence make up a plan. Personally we find a private collector great and even used them when you could purchase rubbish bags as they were cleaner and no torn bags etc around. As John says some people need more others need less and if council dictates what we should be doing once again out of touch. Time to prune some workers again from the city tower that is in need of attention like some workers.Could we please hear that the next group of councillors say come on prune time.

Food waste the TCC reason?

Posted on 13-06-2016 09:16 | By Murray.Guy

The council is basing the call for change on a claim that 30 per cent of rubbish is food waste. John doesn’t believe that and asked the council to do a bit of sampling. Here’s a thought Council, how about listening to the locals who know, encouraging folk to bury their food and biodegradable waste at home (put in a vege garden) as I do. I don’t want to subsidize corporate profits, I don’t want a proliferation of ugly bins lining our streets. Why do TCC staff refuse to accept John’s offer of a free truck to access the rubbish types and percentages BEFORE putting the issue in front of elected members, possible with seriously flawed, misleading information?

Consultant haha

Posted on 13-06-2016 09:04 | By Hot stuff

How much have they wasted paying some consultant to sort out these rediculous figures they have come up with It’s almost as silly as changing the flag .

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