Surprise! DCC continues to create CONFUSION

Firstly: No CityTalk was delivered to my central city residence…

### ODT Online Mon, 25 Oct 2010
Confusion as deadline draws near
By Chris Morris
Confusion surrounding Dunedin’s new kerbside collection service could drive up the cost of the scheme for the city’s 45,000 households, the Dunedin City Council is warning. The new service is due to be launched on February 28 next year, but members of the public have only until October 31 to tell the council if they want a smaller recycling wheelie bin as part of the new service.

DCC’s new refuse service
– Due to launch on February 28.
– Cost $63 per household, paid by uniform annual charge (UAC).
– 240-litre wheelie bin, or 80-litre wheelie bin substitute, for non-glass recyclables.
– Existing black bags for rubbish.
– Existing blue crates for glass.
– October 31 deadline to request smaller 80-litre wheelie bin, if required.

Read more


Let’s be clear. DCC has completely fudged central city Parking and that particular cloud hasn’t dispersed. Now this mess with household waste collections. Communication is? DCC in own bubble, AGAIN.

Dunedin prides itself on being a university town, with a higher than average number of residents holding degrees. And yet, the Council has no idea how to provide timely sage advice to residents on the matter of cost, convenience and affordability for rubbish collections. Surprising, given the number of submissions Council received from the public. Where’s the follow up?

I have no ability to accept ANY wheelie bin of whatever size. So what are my alternatives, DCC? Where is my letter or a webpage I can consult to get to the heart of the matter?

On the surface of it, as I submitted in writing, with the advent of wheelie bins I will be doing less recycling than ever before – since all of my recyclable waste, apart from glass, has to go to landfill in a black bag. Because, there appears to be no alternative provided by the Council. This stinks.


Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Economics, Geography, People, Politics, Project management, Urban design

52 responses to “Surprise! DCC continues to create CONFUSION

  1. Anonymous

    My little bird tells me that the cost already went up by about $50K per annum thanks to the actions of City Property in negotiating a certain lease.

  2. Phil

    You’ve lost me there about the connection between the supply of rubbish bins and property leases. CP have a contract in place to remove rubbish from the Library/Civic Centre complex, but I’m rather confused about what their involvement might be in procuring rubbish bins ?

  3. Calvin Oaten

    Can anyone guarantee me that the collected glass will be recycled? To the best of my knowledge the only place where glass in bulk is melted is in either Auckland or Whangarei. The freight cost made it uneconomic several years ago to send South Island glass there. What’s changed?
    I believe this whole rubbish rejig was a solution looking for a problem. The only ones benefiting will be the contractors with an increase in revenue and decrease in their costs. The DCC supplies all the hardware and the ratepayers pay over time with their increase. Like the parking fiasco, another bureaucratic stuff up aided and abetted by a dull council. Let’s hope for better things from the new team, but don’t hold our breath.

  4. James

    Calvin asks “What’s changed?”.
    Perhaps the council have been reading the news, and were perhaps aware that there is a shortage of clean glass, and that an additional glass furnace was being installed?

  5. Calvin Oaten

    Yes James, I was aware of that discussion. All Auckland, you will note. Doesn’t address the freight problem, the main stickler for South Island glass recycling.

  6. James

    The glass was crushed for road material because there was no demand, and there is now a demand, but only for clean glass. This should translate into a sufficient price to cover the cost of the new glass only bin and the freight to Auckland. If this is not the case, then there is a clear need to question competence.

  7. kate

    James that is the case – at worst – at best there will be a dividend – on current market values

  8. Richard

    O-I New Zealand, NZ’s only commercial glass bottle and jar manufacturer based in Penrose, Auckland, will accept all CLEAN glass and pay the freight cost to Auckland.

    They can do this simply because they ship containers of wine bottles to this part of NZ, where there is a now a significant wine industry, and for their return north can fill them with clean cullet instead of returning them empty.

    If it works in Alexandra and Oamaru, why not in Dunedin?

  9. Richard

    And yes, James. You have it right!

  10. Calvin Oaten

    So can we take it Richard you can guarantee that all our clean glass will find its way to Auckland. If not, then we have been cajoled into a more expensive method of achieving exactly the same result. As James suggests, if this is the case then there is a clear need to question competence.

  11. Calvin Oaten

    Yes Elizabeth we must. I vote you do it.

    • Elizabeth

      Happy to. Will report back if Kate or someone here doesn’t do so first.

      • Elizabeth

        Oh my, I found a link… on the last day property owners have available to tell DCC if they want the smaller wheelie bin.

        Dunedin City Council

        Yellow-lidded wheelie bins


        The new kerbside recycling service will start from 28 February 2011.

        Households will receive a 240-litre wheelie bin between January and February, 2011, ready to start from February 28.

        If you are the property owner and prefer a smaller 80 litre wheelie bin, because of physical or access issues, you must advise the DCC Customer Service Centre by 31 October 2010 by calling 477 4000.

        The wheelie bins will be collected every second week. The day of the week, and which fortnight your collection will be, will depend on where you live. Calendars will be attached to your wheelie bin when it is delivered. The calendars will tell you which week to put out the yellow-lidded bin and which week to put out your blue bin. You can also check our Collection days page.

        Each wheelie will have a serial number and address label on the bin to identify the property it belongs to.

        * 240 Litre Yellow-lidded Wheelie Bin Information (PDF, 307.7kb, new window)
        * 80 Litre Yellow-lidded Wheelie Bin Information (PDF, 306.8kb, new window)

        You can use yellow-lidded wheelie bins to collect an extended range of recyclable materials.

        * paper – these can be placed straight into your bin (please note, shredded paper must be in bags before putting it in the bin)
        * cardboard – there is no need to tie these up, but flattening and folding them will give you more room in your bin
        * plastics numbered 1-7, clean rigid containers only, with lids removed as otherwise they explode in the sorting line
        * aluminium or steel cans – need to be washed but no longer need to have both ends removed, or be squashed.

        The bins cannot take plastic bags, which snag on the sorting line, but these can be taken to Pak N Save or New World supermarkets, which have collection points.

        Because a wider range of material will be collected in the new service, it will result in a reduction in waste being taken to the landfill, which is a positive step towards Dunedin’s goal of zero waste to landfill.

        Where does it go?

        * Paper is sent to Carter Holt Harvey Fullcircle Recycling NZ where it is turned back into corrugated paper used in cardboard.
        * Cardboard is sent to Carter Holt Harvey Fullcircle Recycling NZ where it is made into cardboard packaging.
        * Plastics 1-7 are sent to Comspec/Mastagard in Christchurch to be used in a variety of products.
        * Metals are sent to local recyclers, Sims Pacific Metals, to be made into light gauge steel products such as wire.

        Last reviewed: 27 Oct 2010 12:58pm

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Fri, 12 Nov 2010
          Council prepares to recycle on wheels
          By Chris Morris
          The first batch of 45,000 wheelie bins destined for Dunedin households early next year has arrived in the city, and now all that remains is to get the lids on in time.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### November 11, 2010 – 7:20pm
          Kerbside recycling bins arrive in storage
          Around 10% of the new kerbside recycling wheelie bins have been delivered to the city.

        • Elizabeth

          ### November 17, 2010 – 6:51pm
          Do you understand the new recycling rules?
          The DCC recently announced a kerbside recycling system which will include smaller, lidded bins. The 9 Local News Word on the Street team hit the kerbside today to ask if you understand the new recycling rules.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Fri, 19 Nov 2010
          Delays force trucking of recyclables
          By Chris Morris
          Up to 2400 tonnes of recycling material will be trucked to Christchurch for processing after the launch of Dunedin’s new kerbside collection service next year because of delays building a recycling plant near the Green Island landfill. The Dunedin City Council this week confirmed Hall Bros, one of four companies involved in providing the new kerbside collection service in Dunedin from next year, had run into difficulties financing the planned recycling plant.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### December 23, 2010 – 7:40pm
          Kerbside recycling system contract signed
          The contract for Dunedin’s new kerbside recycling system, worth over 26 million dollars, was signed today. The system is expected to increase revenue to the City Council as recycled material will be cleaner than is the case with the existing method of collection.


          And with this comes my return to non recycling in black bags to landfill, with the exception of glass collected from my blue bin fortnightly. No wheelie bin shall grace my steps. We wanted an option(s) for residents of apartments, small properties and (wheelie bin) inaccessible properties, oh joy Dunedin City Council didn’t listen.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Tue, 11 Jan 2011
          First of new wheelie bins delivered
          By Chris Morris
          The rolling out of Dunedin’s new $26.7 million kerbside collection service is under way, with the first 1500 wheelie bins delivered to homes yesterday.
          Read more


          Today, I placed another query with DCC’s Ian Featherston, Solid Waste Manager (the first query before Christmas went unanswered) – and my landlord – about arrangements for those of us without property access for wheelie bins… I avidly await replies.

          I (again) visited the DCC webpage for more information:

          Which says:
          If you live in a multi-tenanted apartment or pensioner flat, we and our contractor will be contacting these property owners to sort out the requirements, as large communal bins may be used for these larger properties.

  12. James

    It’s interesting to see in an adjacent page a description of the glass service. It will apparently be going to O-I in Auckland to be re-processed into bottles. Seemingly, as part of the process to ensure that the glass is sufficiently clean, it will be sorted on the truck by colour, but presumably also into anything deemed insufficiently clean.

    It would also be interesting to know if by ‘rinsed’ they are really worried about, for example, jam jars and jam residue, or whether they expect students to rinse every stubbie… (if the latter, I think they may be a little disappointed).

  13. anonymous

    Karma. Delay self-inflicted by the city and its property manager…

  14. Phil

    I must be missing something here. Again. But can someone please clarify what the connection is between the manager of City Property and the recycling bins purchased by Waste Services ?

    • Elizabeth

      I echo Phil’s query – is this about how City Property oversees the supposed development of recycling plant at Green Island landfill? What gives? Who is available to connect the dots for us here?

  15. Phil

    Ok, that might make some sense. Thanks Elizabeth. Possibly City Property are managing the contract for the design and construction of the plant at the landfill. Seems a bit of a strange setup if that’s the case. City Property managing the construction on behalf of Waste Services, and being paid for by a private company (Hall Brothers) ? Why are CP even involved in this ? One could argue that they are doing work for a private client. That’s just making things way too complicated. Unless they are involved in the drawing up of the lease agreement on behalf of Waste Services for the land to Hall Brothers, whom I presume will own the building.

  16. Phil

    I was interested reading Lee’s latest grizzle in the paper with regard to the new public toilet proposal. I recall a discussion with one of the contractors contracted by City Property to repair and maintain the public toilets in the city. The contractor told me that it costs almost $200k a year to repair damage caused by vandals. A typical stainless steel toilet pan (porcelain gets kicked to pieces in the first night) costs $3,000. In one night alone, 6 pans were stolen from public toilets around town. They have to build these things to withstand a small nuclear blast. And that costs an awful lot more than the costs for building a second toilet in your home.

  17. Phil

    “told be” looked very much like “told me” in my head.

    {Typo corrected in your comment. -Eds}

  18. anonymous

    Can’t connect all the dots. But hypothetically, if you owned land that was blighted by combination of actions by city planning and property departments and you wanted to secure financing based on the value of that land, then you would have a problem.

    And yes, you should have a look at the leasing arrangements for the recycling site.

  19. Richard

    I have a fair idea of what you are trying to impune.

    You cannot connect all the dots because you are simply trying to create a ‘mischief’. So, you do not have need of them.

    Hiding behind your ‘nom-de-plume’ (most ‘original’!!), you are on the verge of putting others at risk (eg the owner/manager/editor of this site).

    So, I say “front up” or “shut up”. Nothing you have posted is constructive. Nothing!

  20. Calvin Oaten

    Phil, correct me if I am wrong, but I think if you read again, the recycling building which was the subject of financial problems (hence the delays) is to be built on land owned by Hall Bros. I think you would find that this is the old Burnside Saleyards site. This would suggest that the recyclable separated material will go straight to that site, not the Green Island Landfill. Indeed, what the city property department would have to do with it eludes me as well. Probably a misunderstanding on the part of the ODT.

  21. Calvin Oaten

    Richard; that’s plain rude. Haven’t you got over the rejection yet?

  22. Dave

    Well said Richard, Mr A. Nonymous is typical of what I like to call Internet cowards. They like to throw it around but don’t have the strength of character to back it up with actual facts. Supposition does no-one any good, all it does is create wildly ridiculous and inaccurate conclusions due to a lack of verifiable information. So, A. nonymous, back it up with facts, I dare you to.

    {Dave, your nom de plume is noted. -Eds}

  23. UglyBobNZ

    Calvin, I think you’ll find the recycling station is proposed at 29 Brighton Road adjacent to the Green Island landfill. The land is owned by Anzide Properties Ltd of which Doug Hall is a director. I do recall reading something about a separate facility for commerical recycling, which might well be the Burnside site.

  24. Calvin Oaten

    Fair enough Ugly Bob, but it still doesn’t explain why the DCC Property management should be involved.

  25. Richard

    Oh Calvin, you are still ‘with us’. I thought I read your oibituary in the ODT a couple of weeks ago.

    {We quite like the idea of an oi-bituary. -Eds}

  26. Calvin Oaten

    Richard, I am not sure why you thought you had read my oi-bituary in the ODT a couple of weeks ago. I can only assume it was wishful thinking on your part. Rest assured, I will either advise you of its impending release, or I will talk to you later, wherever that may be.

    • Elizabeth

      ### November 26, 2010 – 9:55pm
      Environment Minster visited the Green Island Landfill on official business
      Minster for the Environment Nick Smith visited the Green Island Landfill this afternoon on official business. The Government and Dunedin City Council have made financial contributions to the recycling of a product which is as green, as it is environmentally green.

      ### ODT Online Sat, 27 Nov 2010
      Coolant recycling funded
      By Rebecca Fox
      An initiative to prevent some of the 2.5 million litres of antifreeze that come into New Zealand being tipped down drains and running into waterways has begun in Dunedin.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Sat, 26 Feb 2011
        Construction of ‘Murf’ starts at Green Island
        By John Lewis and David Loughrey
        The foundations are set, and construction has begun on Dunedin’s new $3.5 million Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Green Island. The facility, nicknamed “Murf”, is a specialised plant that will receive, separate and prepare recyclable materials for marketing to end-user manufacturers.

        Christchurch earthquake had caused a delay in the delivery of some 80-litre kerbside recycling collection bins.

        Read more

  27. Richard

    Did you phone in though EJ? There are alternative options for those in your situation. (As I mentioned here some months ago). From what Andrew Noone told me the other day, I understand that there are bags instead of bins, I think in two different colours.

    But if you did not phone in…….

    • Elizabeth

      The bumph said property owners could phone re wheelie bins (size-wise), not residents. There was a distinction made whether intended or not. If that was upgraded to bags being offered, via a media statement or other, I’m sure most of us missed it.

      • Elizabeth

        No mention of coloured bags. DCC Customer Services didn’t know about these as an option for those unable to use wheelie bins. A query has gone to Ian Featherston.

        ### ODT Online Fri, 24 Dec 2010
        Waste contract now signed
        By Chris Morris
        The launch of Dunedin’s new kerbside collection system has come another step closer, with the signing yesterday of the multimillion-dollar contract for the service.
        Read more

  28. Elizabeth


    Today, a brief chat by phone with DCC’s Ian Featherston, solid waste manager, about the roll out of wheelie bins for Dunedin’s recyclable household waste collection.

    To clear this one up – Richard, coloured plastic bags are NOT available for people with property access, disability or space/storage issues that rule out the practical use of wheelie bins. Bags were investigated as an option but didn’t cut the mustard.

    In my case (inner city apartment dweller), the landlord has ordered one large wheelie bin from DCC to serve all six apartments, regardless of the flight of stairs down into our property. Fascinating – note, it will be between he and the contract waste services people to solve the level change – and fair enough, it’s not the council’s problem. All I will say is that each household is paying more in (market) rent each week than someone servicing a home mortgage so no-one wants a hint of added inconvenience.


    Why is the council delivering the wheelie bins now, at this time of year when a lot of people are away on holiday? Who will ensure their wheelie bin isn’t stolen off the street? The usual sort of questions coming at DCC by phone…

    Answer: The Council’s current contract for household waste collection services ends on 27 February 2010. Before this date the new wheelie bins have to be distributed ready for residents’ use. To cut a few sentences short, no-one is going to steal your wheelie bin if you’re not home – not if they already have a bin of their own. However, you might like a neighbour, family member or friend to collect the bin for you in your absence. Nothing worse than seeing a bin out on the street for days as a sign to burglars you’re not home. If you’re not on friendly terms with your neighbours or simply have no idea who they are, contact a friend to pop round and move the bin in off the street for you. (don’t ask me how you know bins are being delivered to your property since you never read a newspaper, or Council tweets or webpages… that’s in the too hard basket, sorry, wheelie bin)

    If you have any issues with the roll out, size of wheelie bin, or require further information, as from today you can phone DCC on 4774000 and you will automatically be given the option to dial 1 if you have a waste or recycling matter to discuss. More receptionists are being assigned to take calls, if their lines are tied up the call reverts to Customer Services.

    Be patient, don’t panic – the wheelie bin roll out will cause a few hitches initially, please know Dunedin City Council is available to take your queries and offer appropriate advice.

    Thanks Ian :)

    • Elizabeth

      Dear DCC
      You have delivered 6 little wheelie bins to our Pitt Street address. Our landlord wrote to you requesting one large bin to service all six apartments. If you could kindly get rid of the excess ugly plastic crap from our street entrance we would be most grateful. The landlord is about to kindly phone you to arrange the swap. No doubt your contractors easily noticed the flight of steps down from the footpath to our apartments when they delivered the bins and may have considered that logic wasn’t part of their equation.

      We ran out of hope some time ago with this household recycling imposition turned fiasco. Bought more black bags to go to landfill, by the way.

      Regards, Apartment Dwellers with Steps.


      In this week’s D Scene (9-2-11) Ken McKay of Andersons Bay writes: “the Wellington City Council’s new recycling system, to be introduced March 2011, has the following advantages over the DCC system of February 2011. The Wellington City Council identified properties with terrain and access issues and wrote to these owners to enquire whether a bin was required. Places with hilly terrain and access issues would be provided with a clear plastic bag with the present 45 litre crate for glass.”

      Register to read D Scene online at

      Related Post:
      26.1.11 Single stream recycling for apartment residents!

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 9 Feb 2011
        Small-bin demand outstrips supply
        By Chris Morris
        Demand for smaller 80-litre wheelie bins is outstripping supply in Dunedin, meaning some people will be forced to wait for a fresh batch to be delivered from Auckland. However, there is no word yet on the likely impact of so many smaller wheelie bins on the Dunedin City Council’s bottom line.
        Read more

  29. James

    “[Cr Noone] urged people to try their larger wheelie bins before considering a switch”.
    Well, how about not charge them $30 to change after the scheme has started?

    Also, can someone explain to me why they expect only 5-7% of people to want a small wheelie bin, when the 2006 census suggests that 26% of households in Dunedin city are one-person households?

    And this dream of extra recycling? As a two person household, we currently put out a 65L black bag about once every 5 weeks. There will be the occasional extra plastic container that we can now recycle, but that’s about it. We are already recycling pretty much everything we can.

    • Elizabeth


      @DnCityCouncil The timetable for the Kerbside Recycling Roadshow is available at – come to one and find out what it’s all about.

    • Elizabeth

      DCC cannot assume Dunedin residents know what its left and right hands are up to, especially when it doesn’t supply residents with the right bin; and all the timely correspondence – as DCC requested – appears to have dropped into a deep dark hole.

      ### ODT Online Tue, 1 Mar 2011
      Confusion complicates recycling change
      By Chris Morris
      A messy clash of yellow-lidded wheelie bins, black rubbish bags and blue bins jostled for space beside Dunedin streets as the city’s new kerbside collection service was unveiled yesterday. A fleet of 17 collection trucks rolled out for the first day of the new $26.7 million contract early yesterday, collecting rubbish bags and glass in blue bins from Pine Hill and West Harbour areas, and black bags and wheelie bins full of other recyclables elsewhere in North Dunedin.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        DCC says ‘Pay again, folks – not our fault we supplied blue bins that weren’t up to task.’

        ### ODT Online Fri, 17 Jun 2011
        Hundreds have to buy new DCC recycling bins
        By Chris Morris
        Safety concerns mean hundreds of ratepayers will have to buy new recycling bins for glass – albeit at a discounted price – to use as part of the Dunedin City Council’s kerbside collection system. A staff report to the meeting of the council’s infrastructure services committee this week confirmed about 890 of the city’s blue glass recycling bins needed replacing.
        Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Thu, 28 Jul 2011
        Recycling up 30% thanks to new bins
        By Chris Morris
        Dunedin’s new wheelie bins have prompted a 30% increase in recycling in the city, Dunedin City Council figures show. Council contractors have collected 3011 tonnes of recycling from the city’s residential streets since the $26.7 million kerbside collection service – including large new wheelie bins – was introduced on February 28.
        Read more

  30. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 5 Mar 2011
    New system yields 20% rubbish cut
    By David Loughrey
    Despite some confusion across Dunedin about the city’s new $26.7 million recycling system, and late pick-ups by workers getting used to new routes, the city council is happy with progress in the first week.
    The delay in the delivery of some 80-litre kerbside recycling collection bins, caused by the Christchurch earthquake, was now not expected to be resolved until March 14.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### March 4, 2011 – 7:07pm
      Positive results for new recycling system give operators a reason to smile
      Dunedin’s new kerbside recycling system has been in operation for a week, with positive results giving operators a reason to smile. While there have been some teething issues, the objectives of the new system are appearing to be being met.

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