Tauranga‘s graveyard of bins

The bins are currently at Te Maunga Transfer Station on Truman Lane. Photo. John Borren.

A stockpile of used plastic bins has emerged as the new kerbside collection for Tauranga and the Western Bay began this week.

The graveyard of now discarded items has emerged at the Te Maunga Transfer Station as residents return their previous, privately contracted receptacles in exchange for council provided options.

The new rates-funded kerbside collection service started from July 1 across Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council jurisdictions.

Residents in those areas have been provided with containers for rubbish, recycling, food scraps and glass.

However, the updated system has left those bins already provided by private contractors across the region purposeless.

The mountain of plastic at the Te Maunga site along Truman Lane belongs to Waste Management Limited.

Whilst they could not confirm the amount of units on site, it appears hundreds, if not thousands, of discarded bins are present.

Waste Management Ltd confirm they have been removing clients’ residential wheelie bins since June 17.

They are being stored near the recycling site awaiting to be processed for recycling.

Tauranga City Council confirm they have not purchased any used bins from private contractors. They say repurposing was not an option due to issues over the age, longevity and size of the bins.

The new council-provided options are also fitted with radio frequency identification.

“We are working with the private contractors to ensure as many bins as possible can be reused by them or chipped and recycled,” says Sam Fellows, manager sustainability and waste at Tauranga City Council.

Western Bay of Plenty Council also confirm that reusing the old bins was not an option, with radio identification and specialised lugs for pay-as-you-throw tags now in use.

They request residents contact private contractors to arrange for the collection of any bins no longer in use.

In most instances, the cost of removal falls on the companies who previously provided them.

“We are looking to financially support some of the smaller companies to recycle the bins with funding we received from the Ministry for the Environment,” says Sam.

“This is not included in the targeted rate for the new service.”

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Bin RFID chips do NOT affect ALL garage doors.

Posted on 05-07-2021 12:35 | By morepork

I tested my door with the yellow bin at various distances from the receiving unit, right down to 30 cm. The door functions properly. George needs to check his remote, or investigate other causes for his door failure. Different door systems use different frequencies and it might be that SOME doors ARE affected, but I think this is unlikely. YMMV.


Posted on 05-07-2021 12:27 | By morepork

The bins are chipped so they can be tracked. One of the major complaints from my existing bin contractor is that their bins get stolen and used for other purposes. They advise NOT leaving them out for any longer than necessary...As the new scheme will probably drive them into liquidation, I guess it is moot...

@George Pocock

Posted on 04-07-2021 15:00 | By morepork

You make a very good point about the bin RFID interfering with remote garage doors. I haven’t tested mine yet but I would not expect them to be on the same frequency. Are you sure the doors fail to operate because of the bin?

@ overit

Posted on 04-07-2021 13:45 | By

Really good suggestion. You raise a great point. Since TCC have stolen all this work from other companies, the majority of who will sadly close as a direct result of TCC building business in Tauranga, why couldn’t they have purchased the good bins from these companies and re-lidded them as overit points out. Surely some money back in their pocket to cover their loss caused by TCC would have been a good thing. What the hell is it going to take to fix TCC and get them onboard with the ratepayers? They don’t listen, they don’t have a heart, and they couldn’t careless.

Typical Council

Posted on 04-07-2021 09:20 | By

We are paying for trucks to drive around looking for recycling bins that have either not been put out, or they are only 20% full. Because it apparently was too complicated to allow people to choose what size bin their household would need. Like none of us have had a bin before. Like we cannot be trusted to make a choice. The all knowing Central Committee had to decide. In case we had forgot how incompetent and wasteful the Socialist Council is, they dreamed up a scheme to remind us.

1 & 2s

Posted on 04-07-2021 08:41 | By

There’s not a whole lot we can actually put in our recycling bins now in the Western Bay i.e. 1 & 2 plastics only - no Margarine or Ice Cream containers. Most things need to be thrown into the general rubbish bin - go figure??? Our recycling bin will take around 6 months to fill. As for emptying out the tea leaves of your teabag to put into the food scrapes bin = "Yeah Right"


Posted on 03-07-2021 21:33 | By The Sage

All this incompetence and the comments I read on Social Media makes me so pleased I have kept my Kleana Bins contract running. Everyone has been hung out to dry by the Council. So much for looking after the environment with all these plastic bins being left lying around. You can lay money on them still lying around in 12 months.

kuza one

Posted on 03-07-2021 16:17 | By

so that’s why my garage door wont operate correctly my advice is don’t put your yellow one a metre near the door and another thing whom ever has the code for the chip on the bin can open your door jolly good don’t you think

Too tricky

Posted on 03-07-2021 15:06 | By

I didn’t bother with the recycling bin. Hardly anything in it. I could have ignored the scraps bin too but I thought I’d better put it out before the rats get stuck in. The bins are too big. One size fits all. However, I have enjoyed all the idiots on social media who seem perplexed that things like toothbrushes and plastic bags got rejected from recycling. Too many dimwits who cannot follow a few simple rules with a few bins. Too tricky. And these people get to vote!

Council speak

Posted on 03-07-2021 14:55 | By

“We are working with the private contractors to ensure as many bins as possible can be reused by them or chipped and recycled”, says Council. Let me translate this for you - “it’s your problem. Just get rid of them. We don’t care how, just make sure they don’t keep popping up. If they do, you take the rap”.

Oh well

Posted on 03-07-2021 14:27 | By sambro

Hate to say it but I told you so, on soo many posts. Rubbish bins are a FAIL on so many levels. It really doesn’t matter what anyone says anymore. let’s just bury our heads in the sand and save for our funerals. The council can’t touch that... too much!


Posted on 03-07-2021 13:56 | By Anton

I live on my own and I think it takes me about a year to fill a rubbish bin. Why are there are no smaller sizes, It will be bad smelly after awhile.


Posted on 03-07-2021 13:35 | By overit

Why didn’t they just change the tops, or reuse them.

A beautiful photo.

Posted on 03-07-2021 13:12 | By morepork

It really made me laugh... all these "dead" bins with their wheels in the air... What does it take for TCC people to realize that some of these schemes are just ridiculous? A rubbish disposal scheme that is supposed to be "green" but is so complex that people have trouble even knowing what bins to put out on which days, that has dispossessed Kiwi businesses in favor of foreign ownership, and that has created a mass of waste plastic that cannot be recycled, apparently. Does nobody have the sense to think through these insane ideas? Or was it just political pressure from 10B that got us here? Why wasn’t the foreign contractor required to collect and dispose of existing bins? Something this stupid really raises the question of whether there was corruption involved. Who is getting rich from this? (And I don’t mean the foreign company...)


Posted on 03-07-2021 13:09 | By Johnney

There is no reason why an onboard computer can’t read a rfid and have a 3-4 monthly billing period. Pay as you throw is the only fair and equitable rubbish collection. This foreign owned contractor are going to cream it at local ratepayers expense. Many holiday homes and apartment blocks are paying for a service they have little use for.


Posted on 03-07-2021 13:04 | By Johnney

You are totally misinformed. Spychip technology below with Covid and cell phone towers. That is real sci-fi fiction.

Keen as

Posted on 03-07-2021 12:47 | By 6visix

Recycle, Sue I’m not the only person who’d have our two of those, dam handy for around the home


Posted on 03-07-2021 12:29 | By

This has been thought through so badly. Perhaps the hundreds of ever so green lawyers currently suing the Climate Change Commission could take a look at this fiasco.

radio frequency identification

Posted on 03-07-2021 11:52 | By nerak

What the ????? "The use of RFID has engendered considerable controversy". "spychip" technology... Time for an explanation as to why the bins are tagged.

Whats the difference

Posted on 03-07-2021 09:53 | By First Responder

A paddock of waste tyres results in some big fines, but a paddock of waste wheelie bins is ok. Not. Another failed TCC plan. Wait until water starts pooling in them, and mosquitoes start breeding. We’ll have more than Covid to worry about.

Waste ?

Posted on 03-07-2021 08:42 | By

Now that’s what I call WASTE

Amazing waste

Posted on 03-07-2021 08:23 | By

A real waste to chip those bins up for plastic. They would have multiple uses for storage etc. And I still cannot believe both Tauranga and western bay council went with a foreign owned company and ditched the local business people in the process. Western Bay are also charging for picking up the rubbish so now you need to buy tags from the supermarket etc, so 1960s and a pain. Tauranga all inclusive with the rates .

Pay as you throw

Posted on 03-07-2021 08:07 | By Johnney

I see WBOP have tags on bins for future pay as you throw. This can be the only fair and equitable rubbish collection. With the huge bins provided and fortnightly cycles I will be lucky to put bins out every 4-6 weeks. Surely many old bins could be repurposed in other parts of NZ or the Pacific Islands.