Ōtaki e-waste closed until further notice

21 May 2024, 4:49 PM

Kāpiti Coast District Council is reluctantly suspending its Ōtaki e-waste recycling service until further notice due to repeated and escalating vandalism and theft from the e-waste disposal unit.

Council waste projects manager Robbie Stillwell said the Council could not sustain the cost of repeated repairs to fences, gates, and the unit itself, and it couldn’t risk staff or contractor safety.

“Honestly, this is gut-wrenching. This service is convenient for people in Ōtaki, keeps harmful waste out of landfill, and allows a specialist business to recover small amounts of materials that can be reused or recycled. It’s not even very valuable in the amounts we’re talking about, so we’re at a loss to understand why this is happening over and over again,” he said.

The Council has been repeatedly fixing and replacing fences, gates, and locks, and tidying up the contents of the facility. This week was the final straw when the thieves entirely removed the metal doors from the container unit and made a big mess of the contents.

“This has so far cost the ratepayer tens of thousands of dollars, and now its cost the community and the environment a really important facility. It’s incredibly disappointing that it’s come to this,” Mr Stillwell said.

Electronic waste (e-waste) includes things like TVs, computers, batteries, mobile phones, appliances, and anything with electronic componentry which has small amounts of recyclable materials.

“We know it’s less convenient, but we encourage people who use the Ōtaki facility to take their e-waste to the Otaihanga e-waste unit until we decide what to do about the Ōtaki service,” Mr Stillwell said.

The Council and police would love to hear from anyone with any information that could help them find the culprits.