Frequently asked questions about the upcoming kerbside rubbish and recycling collection changes

Changes to residential rubbish and recycling collections are on the way to provide the district with a much more consistent and efficient service. Below are frequently asked questions relating to these changes.

The Background

Why are these changes being made?

We are making changes to kerbside rubbish and recycling in order to:

  • streamline the service across the district and also enable the flexibility to respond to future changes in the waste space
  • deliver services that support the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan which has adopted a programme to focus on glass and organics for the district
    • with a focus on glass it is important to be able to separate glass from comingled recycling
  • improve the safety of our collection service by moving to an automated system
    • while being recognised by industry as being a safe methodology, using wheelie bins has the added bonus of reducing the risk of windblown litter and animal strike

How will this service be streamlined?

By moving away from multiple waste management contracts to just two across the district for Landfill (existing contract) and Solid Waste Services (new contract), we will be able to provide a better service to our ratepayers.

The Solid Waste Services contract will include the following services

  • Kerbside recycling collection and disposal
  • Kerbside refuse collection and disposal
  • Public place waste management
  • Facilities, upgrades, management and operation
  • Associated asset, customer and waste data management
  • Collection days for remote communities
  • Waste education

The Solid Waste Services Contract has now been awarded to Waste Management Limited NZ who have partnered with local group, Wastebusters. 

How is safety being improved?

By having automated collections, it removes the need for our collection crews to exit the vehicle, and also physically pick up heavy bags and crates, which reduces health and safety risks. This is especially important in such a harsh weather environment.

When does this new service go live?

The new service will be launched district-wide from 1 July 2019. We will keep you in the loop with all developments leading up to this launch date.

The Coverage

What locations will be covered by this three bin system?

The entire Queenstown Lakes district will be covered – all the way from Makarora down to Kingston. 

What properties will be included?

All developed residentially rated properties within the district that pay the Waste Management charge will be eligible for a collection

What about collections for multi-unit developments?

One of the things we asked potential suppliers to demonstrate is how they will service properties where having large numbers of small bins is not practical. We will confirm the collection details for multi-unit developments such as apartments soon. 

What about collections for elderly or disabled residents?

Historically all entitled properties have been required to present their refuse and recycling at the kerbside for collection. However, in order to provide a better service we asked the potential suppliers how they would provide a service to residents who are physically unable to do this. This is called an ‘infirm service’ and essentially means that any property that has been determined as ‘infirm’ will receive an on-property service where the contractor will collect and return the wheelie bins to an agreed location within the property boundary.

Details on this will be confirmed in early 2019.

Can I opt-out of this service?

You can choose to use a private service but there is unlikely to be an opt-out option for the Council service - just like at present with the rates funded recycling bins. This is because the Waste Management charge also funds other waste services not just the collection.

The Nitty-Gritty

What is happening to my current bin or crate?

Your current bin or crate will be replaced with three wheelie bins:

  • A mixed recycling bin
  • A glass recycling bin
  • A refuse bin

The date that these bins will be delivered to you will be confirmed in early 2019.

What size are the new wheelie bins?

It is likely the majority of properties will receive a 140 litre refuse bin, 240 litre mixed recycling bin, and a 140 litre glass recycling bin.   

We will confirm this in early 2019.

When and how do I get my new bins?

You don’t have to do anything. These bins will be delivered to you and details will be confirmed in early 2019.

When will collection be?

The refuse bin will be collected every week. The glass and mixed recycling bins will be collected on alternate weeks.   

The current collection days are shown here. It is likely that some of these collection days will change with the new service to better balance the number of properties to be serviced each day. We will keep you updated if there will be any changes to your current collection day.

Can I still use my private wheelie bin service or do I have to use the new three bins?

You can choose to use a private service but there is unlikely to be an opt-out option for the Council service - just like at present with the rates funded recycling bins.

What do I do with my blue rubbish bags?

Please ensure you use up your blue rubbish bags before the transition over to the new three bins service.

What information was used to decide the collection system?

To determine what the new service should be, we used a Better Business Case process and also aligned it with the recently adopted Waste Minimisation and Management Plan (WMMP) programme which focusses on glass and organics.

Why is refuse collected weekly?

At the moment, and also under the new 3 bin system, organics are mixed in with the refuse. While this is the case, it is important to retain a regular collection to reduce associated risks, i.e. odour, pest issues. When/if an organics collection is introduced, we will review the frequency of refuse collection.

Still have questions that are not answered here?

Please contact QLDC Customer Services on 03 441 0499 (Queenstown) or 03 443 0024 (Wanaka).