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Christchurch City Council Media Release 27 April 2000

Unsorted Loads Bring Big Costs

A few motorists with heavy and unsorted loads of rubbish have copped charges up to $70 a trailer load at Christchurch refuse stations.

This occurred in the first day of the new trailer-weighing system for all-domestic cars and trailers.

"It is now important for domestic customers to sort their loads of refuse," says the manager of the trailer-sorting system, Joan McSweeney, the business development manager for Recovered Materials Foundation.

All domestic cars and trailers are weighed before and after the discharge of refuse and then charged on the actual weight of material dumped.

The change was made to bring in a more equitable charging system for domestic and commercial customers and also to encourage householders to sort their loads to maximise the recovery of materials that are being buried needlessly in landfill.

In recent years the average weights of refuse in domestic cars and trailers have increased and this resulted in commercial users paying disproportionately more for each tonne of waste dumped than domestic users.

So the fairer system for charging all users was developed at the refuse stations.

Also the new system rewards those who reduce their waste as sorted green waste and hardfill is charged at a lesser rate.

Reusable and recyclable materials can be dropped off at no charge.

The recycling centres now have a new look and extra staff.

The public’s response to the new charging system has been varied. Dave Harris, the projects engineer, Waste Management Unit of the Christchurch City Council, says most domestic customers found costs reduced, provided they sorted out their green waste for composing.

However, a few, with heavy unsorted trailers, faced charges of up to $70 a trailer.

Joan McSweeney says even keeping the green garden waste on one side of trailers with general waste on the other will bring significant savings.

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