As we publicised in last week’s Council News our solid waste team are looking to customise operating hours at our transfer stations to the needs of their communities. Council committed to reducing transfer station hours in its 2014-2015 Annual Plan and now we are looking at what hours will work of each affected community.
28/07/2014 1:34 p.m.
The question we are asking is “What do you want? When do you want it?"
From 4 to 20 August we will be talking to communities about the best way to provide services at the times and on the days they need, so rates don’t have to be spent paying for downtime at the stations,” said WDC Waste and Drainage Manager Andrew Carvell.
“We will be consulting with communities to identify new hours and then running those hours on a trial basis for three months to see how things go,” he said.
“The aim is to reduce overall hours, but the hours we are aiming to cut are the ones when use is lowest."
Council has Waste Transfer Stations in eight locations across the District - Uretiti, Tauraroa, Kokopu, Hikurangi, Ngunguru, Parua Bay, Ruatangata and Oakura."
“The aim is for no-one to be further than 15 kilometres from a waste collection service, so we have stations where people can pay for their rubbish to be dropped off for collection by our contractors and transferred to Re:Sort in Whangarei. From there it goes into recycling or to the Puwera Landfill, just south of Portland.
“Our least-used station is at Ruatangata, which is open 20 hours a week. The last time we reorganised Transfer Station hours we proposed closing Ruatangata and the community asked us to reduce the hours instead.
“That approach worked really well there, so we are looking at doing things the same way in terms of talking to the other communities, getting their ideas, customising for their needs and then running a three month trial. Mr Carvell said we have reviewed the usage at each transfer station and how other rural districts like Whangarei, such as at Warkworth and in the Far North District manage their transfer stations.
“We know that a lot of the coastal transfer stations get a lot of rubbish dropped off by bach owners on Sunday afternoons and Mondays, as people head home after a weekend a way.
“We could also open for extended hours over public holidays and the Christmas holiday peak to meet demand.”
"We are aiming for the bigger transfer stations to be open up to 28 hours per week and the smaller stations to be open up to 20 hours per week."
Mr Carvell explained that the fee charged at transfer stations brought in about $380,000 a year, which did not off set the $1.54 million they cost to run and the net cost to the ratepayer of running the stations is $1,142,000 annually.
The proposed reduction in hours would save approximately $200,000 per annum.