New Tauranga rubbish service sparks debate

The new service will be introduced on July 1, 2021. File photo.

The rise in landfill costs and discontinuation of council rubbish bags are just two of the reasons behind a new Tauranga City Council-led kerbside waste collection service.

From July 1, 2021, all Tauranga households will be provided with a 140L rubbish bin, a 240L recycling bin and a 23L food scrap bin to add to their existing 45L glass recycling crate.

The decision for the new service was made following consultation with the community as part of the Long Term Plan 2018-28.

Infrastructure general manager Nic Johansson says 66 per cent of those who submitted to the plan were in favour of a council-led kerbside waste collection service.

But not everyone is happy.

Many people have taken to social media and the comment section of SunLive to voice their concerns, many of whom are angry because they feel this is a service they neither need nor want.

A lot of people feel they will be paying more for the new service, which is expected to cost $230 a year.

Johansson says the cost of sending waste to the landfill will increase due to future increases in the government’s waste levy and emissions trading scheme.

He says these increases mean it will soon become more expensive for everyone in New Zealand to send waste to landfill.

Another popular complaint is that people are worried they will not be able to take the bins to the kerb due to ailments, living up a long drive or for some other reason.

Johansson says it’s difficult to provide a service that suits all individual household needs.

“People who are unable to take their bins to the kerbside are encouraged to contact council to see if they qualify for an assisted service, which will be free of charge.

“Some households in our community are using council’s rubbish bag collection service (black rubbish bag), however, this contract will end on June 30, 2021, therefore the service will not continue after this date.

“The main reasons for this are health and safety concerns over manual handling of bags and also to reduce the number of single use plastic bags being sent to landfill.”

Opting out of the service is not an option.

Johansson says sharing the cost of the service across the city in rates ensures the collections are cost effective, consistent and more efficient.

SunLive put additional questions to the council following concerns raised by members of the community.

See Tauranga City Council’s response below:

Why is there not an option for people to opt out in the first year? Especially for those residents who would only fill a council rubbish bag once a month?

Households are not able to opt out of the rates-funded kerbside rubbish, recycling, food scraps and glass collection services ($230 for the first year) however, the monthly garden waste collection ($60 for the first year) is an opt-in service.

“We have an opt-in system currently with our kerbside collections now being largely in the hands of private waste collection companies – and nearly 70 per cent of our household waste that goes to landfill could be composted or recycled instead,” says Johansson.

“In order for the new service to make an impact and reduce household waste unnecessarily going to landfill, we need the service to be convenient for all households to take part in.”

He says spreading the cost across a centralised, city-wide service in rates also ensures it’s cost effective.

“It’s difficult to provide a service that suits all individual household needs, however, households that produce less waste than average will be able to select smaller rubbish and recycling bins after the first year of the service.”

Is there an option for people to have smaller bins or to change what bins they get based on their own household needs?

After the first year, ratepayers will be able to select from different sized rubbish and recycling bins to suit their particular household’s needs, says Johansson.

“Any changes in bin size will be reflected in rates charges – with reduced rates for smaller bins and increased rates for larger bins.

“Final costs for the smaller and larger bin options are still to be confirmed.”

What is going to happen to the existing rubbish bins people already have?

“We are currently working with the private waste providers to determine the number of bins they currently have and what they plan to do with these bins e.g. some may use these in other areas they provide services to,” says Johansson.

“We are looking at ways we can help waste companies with existing bins that can’t be re-used in other areas to recycle these bins instead of them ending up in landfill.

Which company will be handling the collection of the council bins? Is it a local/Tauranga company? If not, why has the council opted for an outside company?

EnviroWaste has been awarded the contract for kerbside collections.

Johansson says the competitive procurement process welcomed proposals from all companies who provide waste services.

“All local suppliers were given an equal opportunity to bid for contracts.

“While EnviroWaste is not a NZ-owned company, they employ more than 900 people nationwide and will be looking for skilled employees who are currently employed in Tauranga’s waste services to be part of their team – and will be paying the living wage.”

Additional information

The service will initially cost $230 including GST for the first year and be charged in residential rates from July 1, 2021 through a new targeted rate.

Households can also choose whether to opt into a rates-funded monthly garden waste service for an additional $60 including GST for the first year.

The majority of households will see their current waste disposal costs reduced, while receiving a more comprehensive service, says Johansson.

The annual cost for the new service is the same as using one and a half rubbish bags a week.

He says this is “significantly less than the $515 a year the average household that only uses private kerbside rubbish and recycling collections pays, according to market research”.

The service is expected to make it easier to reduce waste, will be more accessible and will be more affordable for the community as a whole, and the collections are expected to halve the amount of waste each household sends to landfill by 2028, according to council.

The new service will be consistent throughout the city, with everyone having the same service.

This is expected to make it easier to educate people on what goes in each bin and to further minimise waste to landfill.

More on SunLive...
You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now

Freedom of choice???I

Posted on 26-10-2020 17:06 | By Ann

I totally object to these bins. I use one rubbish bag kerbside per month, take all recycling to Meleme st, food scraps to the worms. There must be lots of older people in the same position as me. We need user pays. Freedom of choice.

Trial period

Posted on 24-10-2020 07:34 | By Johnney

You would have thought that council may have run a trial in a nominated suburb to see how it all works before committing to such a long term contract to a foreign company. Any prudent business would do the same. This would identify any issues and problems. No, this would be far too practical for this bunch of wallies.

We strongly object

Posted on 23-10-2020 21:15 | By

As ratepayers surely we should have been consulted before Council went ahead with this ridiculous idea. Most weeks our rubbish bin goes out to the kerb only half full, the recycle bin and glass bin which is programmed for fortnightly collection goes out every 6 weeks as we don’t have enough glass or recycle materials to put out, so why do we have to pay the full amount, has the Council heard of user pays surely there could be a solution for this like a reader/chip or bar codes on the bins that the trucks recognise with a computer software to recognise the user which could then be charged accordingly

Who is with me

Posted on 23-10-2020 14:03 | By

I would be very happy to start a protest march. I will need some help. E-mail me at

Nobody wants it.

Posted on 23-10-2020 13:52 | By morepork

Why are we doing it? Local firms are being replaced by an overseas company that has a more complex collection system. We all know our rates will rise on account of it (... and more, hidden under it..). But, as Fernhill22 pointed out, failed projects should not just be stepped over while the Council runs from foolishness to downright stupidity. Nothing further should be approved until the disasters are dealt with. They have not earned the right to move on.

Fait compli

Posted on 23-10-2020 09:19 | By Kancho

If a contract has been signed for ten years then we are stuck with it or has he legal bills. The price next year anybody’s guess but price rarely goes down in most experience. Taking the bins back or refusing them you will still be charged the fee. People power ..yeah right. Vote this lot out next election won’t change a ten year contract either. You think Bella vista was costly ..try getting out of a signed contract.

Dr.Goebbels rides again

Posted on 22-10-2020 16:51 | By sobeit

Getting madder by the minute. Could Dr.G alert his victims as to what is the plan when people put the wrong rubbish/ waste /garden in the wrong bin. I have a vision of a new Council Dept. riding on motorcycles ahead of the collection wagon inspecting the bins. Bet there’s no response but I can just see it coming. 3 hits and you’re out. Fined,no collection for 4 weeks even stocks in Red Square

Vote with your feet

Posted on 22-10-2020 11:19 | By

The only way things are going to change, is by People Power. A petition needs to get put in place with ratepayers requesting the removal of our current TCC Mayor & Councillors. Maybe then when thousands of dis-satisfied ratepayers vote with their feet that the Government will listen. You can not have a dis-functional council who clearly are not listening to their ratepayers & making these decisions regardless. Rectify your failed projects (Greerton, Phoenix Car Park, Welcome Bay Roading, Multi Storey Car Park) first & foremost, rather than leaving these failed projects in place. Come up with solutions to these issues & rectify them before spending more of rate payers money on other projects we don’t want or need. Vote with your feet people & make change happen.

I Don't need them

Posted on 22-10-2020 10:23 | By Tassie

so I thought I would return them to the recycle center or just leave them on the side of the road.

Assisted Service ?

Posted on 22-10-2020 08:49 | By Equality

Council says “People who are unable to take their bins to the kerbside are encouraged to contact council to see if they qualify for an assisted service, which will be free of charge." Yeah right!! THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE FACT THAT WE DO NOT NEED - DO NOT WANT - WILL NOT USE THEIR STUPID BINS!! Can some public minded person please organize a protest march and we’ll all be in it behind you. Assisted service will be free ? So, if forced on me - they can trundle the empty bins up and down our hill every week!!

Maggot bin

Posted on 22-10-2020 08:41 | By First Responder

The only food scrapes going in our bin will be fish heads and chicken entrails, as the rest goes down the waste master. Hope the council have a plan for maggot and rat control, let alone the stink of food 7 days old.

Excess Rubbush

Posted on 22-10-2020 08:24 | By Sandyshirl

So what do some people do when they always have at least 3 - 4 bags weekly. These wont fit in their new bin. I can see more Park rubbish bins being used. I suggest since we have been given 1 option that all of us dont use TCC green waste bins as there are locally owned businesses who need our support & can also offer a better service than the TCC. Come on Tauranga, support our local businesses.

Gotta hand it to these pr..ks

Posted on 22-10-2020 07:12 | By mac attack

They certainly have a Masters degree in BS.

Graeme John.

Posted on 22-10-2020 05:36 | By

Why should we go this way? If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I don’t have room for your 4 bins, why should I pay for 3 extra ones, I don’t need them


Posted on 22-10-2020 02:33 | By sambro

It’s obvious by these comments here and on social media that most people DON’T want this "service" (more like a bad expensive joke). We as a community need to stop this. Are there any Lawyers out there that are prepared to help us ? We can protest until the cows come home but we really need to stop this!!!

Just a load of rubbish....

Posted on 21-10-2020 21:33 | By

Nick Johansson, you told me the majority 66% supported this change BUT that was only those who submitted so that was just an obfuscation....NOW I have found that re-cycling plastics only Numbers 1 & 2 are acceptable the REST 3-7 have to go into general waste.....that is disgusting is not even genuine re-cycling....our total cost for rubbish annually is currently less than $90.00.....I have been told that bins have RFID chips and all are being checked for NOW we will have the BIN POLICE knocking....and Mayor Powell I find your remark totally derogatory that it is ONLY $4.30 / week many of us do not have that much to spare any week....


Posted on 21-10-2020 20:32 | By

I do not need this council service and have choose to reduce rubbish, compost, and recycle, and now forced to pay for other households who produce mountains of waste. Thanks TCC for your encouragement to reduce and recycle.


Posted on 21-10-2020 19:47 | By

No consultation at all, no flyers or info dropped in our letter box, council dictators, no democracy here! if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

More deviousness then.

Posted on 21-10-2020 18:19 | By Cynical Me

Does the $230.00 include the GST or is as they have said added to the rates bill. The rates bill lists all the things you pay for, subtotals it at the bottom, works out the GST and adds that for the final total. Now nowing that TCC is as devious as any outfit can be I’m wondering if the $230 is before ar after GST. My guess. before of course.

I don't want it either

Posted on 21-10-2020 17:31 | By Brian Porter

A number people put their bins out on the evening in readiness for the next morning collect, the kitchen food waste bin will be waiting target for the roaming dogs at night, what they don’t want the rodents will get. And in the summer months a haven for breading flies.

An overdue fix

Posted on 21-10-2020 16:22 | By

This kind of waste collection system works well all over NZ. Its hardly the end of the world that many of these comments seem to indicate. It fixes the present shambolic system, makes it equitable, and ensures household waste actually gets collected.

Revenue Collecting

Posted on 21-10-2020 16:19 | By The Sage

For the Council to state that they did not expect bad kerbside reaction is nonsense. They know the opposition to the blue bins, the rates will go up 12% next year, 7% for rubbish and a further 5% inflation. Don’t hand me that old chestnut of not knowing. Personally I know many people who contributed to and opposed the move, plus several who me with various Councillors. It is total Dictatorship and I agree that some of the older population, me included, will struggle to get the bins out to their gates. This needs to be stopped and reverted, it is still not irreversible at this stage, unless someone is getting a kickback from somewhere and it is too late to reverse that.


Posted on 21-10-2020 15:51 | By Laurie

Has anyone thought about the cost of all these new bins (we’re paying for them) whats going to happen to all of the existing (Waste management, JJ Richards, Kleana Bins, Bin Boys etc bins - surely some of them could be purchased & recyled for use in the new scheme??


Posted on 21-10-2020 15:21 | By

Infrastructure general manager Nic Johansson says 66 per cent of those who submitted to the plan were in favour of a council-led kerbside waste collection service. Ok give us the numbers. How many people responded to the plan. How many people are 66 percent? You need to ask everybody who pay the rates and I bet you would get a different answer. Diana

For goodness sake

Posted on 21-10-2020 15:08 | By Merlin

We are in our late 70’s with health problems including a very bad back. We have a long drive of about 200-300 metres from the road side and currently have a local door service which we pay a local contractor.HOW ARE SUPPOSED TO GET THESE 5 BINS TO THE KERBSIDE???

Here's a clue!

Posted on 21-10-2020 15:07 | By ockerboy

Costs in the second year are sure to rise. Look at what the council spokesperson has said: "Johansson says the cost of sending waste to the landfill will increase due to future increases in the government’s waste levy and emissions trading scheme. He says these increases mean it will soon become more expensive for everyone in New Zealand to send waste to landfill." Also: "we need the service to be convenient for all households to take part in” and “It’s difficult to provide a service that suits all individual household needs" but no opting out. And, a 10 year contract..........

conserve water

Posted on 21-10-2020 15:04 | By bevley

No one has mentioned all the extra water use to wash out multiple bins. I like the idea of returning all the bins to the council as a protest.

Communication rubish

Posted on 21-10-2020 14:51 | By Castreece

I currently use Kleana bins, the bin has lining which prevents it getting dirty and smelly. And as to the council claiming to have consulted with the community - I am a rate payer and wasn’t aware it was happening until too late! Our council is the worst ever. We should be allowed the freedom of choice and they should have consulted with all rate payers not just a select few


Posted on 21-10-2020 14:51 | By

Too angry to say what I really want to say. Will use public refuse bins for my rubbish! and continue to be responsible and do my own recycling.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 21-10-2020 14:50 | By

By my memory there was no option in the questionnaire asking if we wanted the service. It read like... This is happening so which service would you prefer. @Mommatum - You know what they will do already. Charge you in rates and eventually threaten your house or you with court proceedings if you don’t pay up. Renters...your rent just went up...starting at $230 per year and increasing by an admitted unknown figure.

H&S Bull!!

Posted on 21-10-2020 14:49 | By

If you’re bothered about H&S, why introduce so many bins that will not only be an eyesore on collection day, but will also increase the risk associated with flying bins during strong winds......hitting people and cars. But most of all, what happened to freedom of choice!!?? Sack TCC and employ school kids to run Council - they’ll do a far better job than clowns.

Time for a protest march

Posted on 21-10-2020 14:39 | By Mein Fuhrer

outside the Council, we should have the democratic right to opt out of this scheme, seems more like a communist dictatorship running the place.

TCC deceptive!

Posted on 21-10-2020 13:30 | By jed

TCC sent me an email late 2019 with a description of the new service. This description seemed fair, allowing flexibility for different people. The actual service is nothing like they proposed! So, TCC cannot honestly claim people supported this. I don’t want a food scraps bin as I have a garbage disposal. Does TCC not know of this modern appliance that is in most kitchens these days? If TCC had said they were going to halve the size of my bin and collect it fortnightly instead of weekly I’d have objected in their survey -- but, TCCarrogantly forged ahead and treated every household as equal! And now TCC claims they have majority support!!!GRRRRRR!!!

Average $515 per year. Yeah right

Posted on 21-10-2020 13:22 | By Johnney

Can Sun Live undertake a sample survey to verify this average spend of $515 per year as stated by council. It appears very high for an “average”. If this was a “council lead” initiative god help for any future initiatives. Brings memories of the Mt Phoenix skateboard park/ green space debacle.


Posted on 21-10-2020 13:19 | By Laurie

Not needed as we compost all of ours and I would imagine many other ratepayers do as well. We should be able to opt out of this service with a reduction in the collection charge. What a waste of money as the bins (secure lid etc) won’t be cheap - I guess we’ll find another use for it??

Neither Do I

Posted on 21-10-2020 12:44 | By Mommatum

While I already use Envirowaste for my recycling I choose to have my rubbish collected by local company Kleana Bins. They have provided me with an excellent and supportive service for over 20 years and I resent the idea of having to switch. I also resent not being able to Opt Out of the council’s scheme as I thought we still had freedom of choice in this country. TCC’s choice of a foreign owned company is not just a slap in the face for a small, loyal local company but runs contrary to the buy local ethos. Well I’m staying with Kleana Bins until I am left with no choice. After all what can TCC do? Declare war? I don’t think so,

Good spin

Posted on 21-10-2020 12:29 | By

"The decision for the new service was made following consultation with the community as part of the Long Term Plan 2018-28." No, it was made after completely ignoring the avalanche of dissenting submissions by the rate payers. There are so many people that this ’one size fits none’ solution won’t work for, on so many access and safety levels that, making us give up waste and recycling practices already working well while pretty much putting long standing local contractors out of business by contracting the new service outrside the city shows how little the council is considering all the stakeholders here.

Chinese company

Posted on 21-10-2020 12:22 | By

My understanding is that TCC has signed a 10 year contract with a Chinese company. If I am incorrect thenTCC can publish a rebuttal. Who really is behind the “off-shore” Envrowaste company. I very much doubt any Chinese company is too interested in recycling to protect NZ’s environment. $230 in 1st year. Yeah Right. Will it be $500/year in 10 years?


Posted on 21-10-2020 11:50 | By dumbkof2

well all my stuff will be going into the one bin. if i fill that one up it will go into the next one

None the wiser nor convinced!

Posted on 21-10-2020 11:47 | By WestieMum

So 66 per cent of those who submitted to the plan were in favour of a council-led kerbside waste collection service.... how many people in total responded, and what representation of our community were they??? I only knew about from my employer, but friends and family weren’t aware that we were being "consulted" with. And if you can opt in for a green bin, why can’t that be applied to the other bins??? And what a waste of $$$$$, time, effort and bins by providing everyone with the same bins, then sorting it all out a year later as to what bins each household wants!! Why not start off by getting that sorted from the get go!???? Crazy and ill thought out once again. I can foresee a large sea of bins at Council’s front door come 1 July....

Fact checker

Posted on 21-10-2020 11:43 | By

Johansson says 66% approve ,the TCCweb states 61% ?


Posted on 21-10-2020 11:30 | By gincat

The main reasons for this are health and safety concerns over manual handling of bags and also to reduce the number of single use plastic bags being sent to landfill.” Dont you love bureaucrat spin. Man handling of bags has been undertaken since Noah was a boy, who lived to 300 years with no health and safety issues. As for plastic bags, TCC replaced paper bags for plastic some 15 years ago.


Posted on 21-10-2020 11:01 | By kiwi_brat2003

If we have to pay that amount for rubbish It looks like my constant recycle we do every week will never go ahead as I will fill the 140 litre before other bins and I know it will be the only bin going out. It will be the only way that I might get the $230 worth.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 21-10-2020 10:37 | By

@Nerak. They are obviously relying on us to be lazy, accept it and do nothing about it moving forward... They are not prepared to let us Opt out. Just downsize the bins and continue increasing the costs annually by a figure that they do not even know and don’t feel the need to justify! I cannot for one second seriously think me a 37 year old man would qualify for an assisted service, which would be free of charge. It’s an inconvenience for anyone down a long steep driveway like myself! I’m not getting younger! This is a rates grab. Stop hiding behind health and safety and be honest. The council is a shambles and they want to force us to pay more somehow. Full Stop.

So, if the first year charge is

Posted on 21-10-2020 09:51 | By nerak

$230, what’s it going up to in the following year? We have a right to know. Again, staff at TCC having too much say draining our pockets. And if they’re prepared to let us opt out of a bin AFTER the first year, why cant they do that from day one???

I don't want it

Posted on 21-10-2020 09:51 | By Mein Fuhrer

why should we be forced into another TCC balls up. I can manage my own recycling and waste disposal, this new service should be voluntary.