Rubbish bag changes - questions and answers

What's changed?

Mid-2018, EnviroWaste (also trading as Clean Green and Budget Waste), one of four providers operating on the Coast, chose to no longer sell their combination yellow rubbish bag and recycling bin service. This meant plastic rubbish bag users had to look into an alternative rubbish and recycling services.

Why did Envirowaste getting rid of plastic bags?

Moving away from bagged rubbish collection is a growing trend in New Zealand and overseas as it’s more environmentally friendly, and safer for providers rubbish collectors. Sales of bags on the Coast and around the country have been significantly declining over the past few years, and many Councils around the country are phasing out bags.

When did this all happen?

Envirowaste's key dates

  • Monday 19 March 2018 - yellow bags no longer sold in stores
  • From Monday 26 March 2018 - Envirowaste carried out the final empty and removal of the recycling bin and/or crate, which was part of the combined refuse bag service.
  • Friday 4 May 2018 - final collection of yellow bags.

How did this affect bag users?

Users of the combined yellow rubbish bag and recycling service received a letter from their provider in March 2018, outlining important information. This letter encouraged them to look into the alternative options available and decide which suited them best. If users wanted to keep their recycling service that they got with bags, they needed to sign up for a new rubbish collection service.

Alternatively, people can dispose of their rubbish and recycling at the Ōtaki or Otaihanga transfer stations, or talk to friends, family or a neighbour about sharing bins.  

I haven't signed up for a new service - what are my options?


Sign up for a new service

Use the transfer station: you can dispose of your rubbish and recycling at the Ōtaki or Otaihanga transfer stations (recycling can be dropped off free of charge), approx $4.40-$5 to drop off a standard 60litre bag of rubbish.

Share with friends, family or neighbours: talk to a neighbour, friends or family about sharing bins.

Not sure about which option could work best for you? Book in a free, in-home advice sessions with our Waste Minimisation Advisor.

Why Council doesn’t deliver the service?  

In 2012-13 after community consultation, Council made the decision to exit from providing kerbside collection services - at that time there were three other contractors also providing the service across the District.

The reason for this change was that alternative providers could provide more cost effective services, at a much lower rate than the Council could match.  The difference in price was because the Council had to cover the costs of providing kerbside recycling to those ratepayers who use the recycling service weekly, but only use the rubbish bag collection service infrequently. There wasn’t enough revenue from declining rubbish bag sales to cover the cost of providing the service. This introduced a full user pays system for rubbish and recycling on the Kāpiti Coast.

Licensed rubbish collectors in the District could continue to provide a rubbish bag service if they wanted to, and EnviroWaste has been selling and collecting bags since then.

Council doesn't have contracts with any of the providers, and has limited control over what services these providers choose to deliver. To get a licence, a provider needs to meet the conditions of the Solid Waste bylaw.

Under the current system, instead of every household having to pay a set portion of rates for a set of rubbish and recycling service, each household can choose the service they would like to use, based on what providers are offering.

How much would it cost for Council to get back into offering the service?

Some people voiced their concern and asked Council to look into what it would cost to get back in. In March 2018, we did some analysis and released this information to our community.  

Why can't there just be one truck doing it all?

Before Council exited from rubbish bag collection in 2013, there were four providers offering services. There are still four providers offering those services across the District.

The Council can't stop commercial operators from offering residents rubbish and recycling collection services. This is a function of a free economy where people have a choice - even if there was a  fully rates funded option available, there would need to be a change in Government legislation to allow Council to prevent any form of competition. The Council doesn’t control the waste industry and would be in breach of the commerce act if we tried to - the market in Kāpiti is open to competition, like it is in other towns and cities across New Zealand. Council offering a tender and contracting with one contractor won’t resolve the issues regarding rubbish bag collections and people would end up paying significantly more for Council to administer a contract - and there would still be alternative suppliers.

How can I minimise waste?

We currently have one of the highest rates of recycling across the region. This is great and we’re keen to see this trend continue. So if you’re unsure about how to manage your waste or recycling, talk to your friends and family about what option’s best for you, or call our Waste Minimisation Officer via 0800 486 486.

Results from our recent household waste survey show that food products account for one third of the Kāpiti Coast’s waste, so if possible, this is a great opportunity to start using a personal or neighbourhood compost bin for food waste. For more information, check our green gardener service.

Related links

Media advisory: Friday 8 March 2018 Changes coming for yellow rubbish bag users

Media advisory: Friday 23 March 2018 Costs estimated for Council-led rubbish and recycling disposal service

Last updated 14 January 2019 10.49am