Oops! When is full too full?

ins deemed ‘too full’ have been left on the kerbside.

In town hall parlance, it’s an “OOPS”.

And there are ten good reasons why you, as a ratepayer, will be “OOPS’d” and your blue recycling bin will be left, unemptied, on the kerbside.

Take the neighbour who sneaked a bin brimming with evidence of his excesses out to the road early on collection day, only to find it still there, unemptied, at the end of the day. “It’s embarrassing and annoying,” he said. “It doesn’t encourage recycling.”

He had been “OOPS’d” for an overfilled crate. Just four empty Krombacher 660s turned him from a responsible recycler to an abuser of the system.

“Thank you for your effort to recycle your glass,” said the yellow ‘OOPS!’ sticker left attached to the crate, “we could not empty your crate or had to leave some items behind due to overfilled crate. Please do not fill the crate past the top edge.”

While neighbours recovered their upturned, empty bins, the “OOPS’d” one had to slink out and recover his still full bin of shame. The yellow sticker also suggested that if he had too much glass to fit in the crate, he could take it to one of Tauranga’s transfer stations, or save it for the next scheduled glass collection day.

Across town, another disgruntled recycler had given up. His blue bin was full after just one week. He decided his glass was going into his wheelie bin and over the Kaimai Range to a landfill.

Not exactly in the spirit of recycling and exactly not what the city’s waste team advocates. “We urge residents not to resort to putting their glass in their rubbish bin as it won’t be recycled,” they say.

And it seems the city is listening. The new glass recycling service is in just its second month, is well utilised by the community according to the city waste team, and is working well operationally.

There’s even some independent endorsement. Waste minimisation consultant, Marty Hoffart, is upbeat. “Smart (the recycling contractors) are good operators, they are doing a good job,” he says. And he has plaudits for the council. “It’s done a good job of rolling the scheme out.”

Anecdotally, any complaints about the new service mainly concern non-collection. And the collection records tell us just one per cent of crates have been rejected due to overfilling or contamination from unclean glass receptacles.

“This indicates that the majority of residents are using the service well,” says the waste team. “And we are collecting almost 100 per cent of glass presented for recycling.”

But when is a filled bin too full? When it’s a few bottles beyond the top edge. Even just a few bottles in an over-filled crate can fall out and smash as the bin is being lifted for emptying in the truck.

So rejecting bins because of a few bottles is not being petty or pedantic. The waste team says “it protects collectors, pedestrians, cyclists and residents using kerbsides, footpaths and roads from broken glass.”

What about bigger crates collected more often? A once-a-week collection would probably make the scheme twice as expensive for the ratepayer.

And the bin size has been selected to maximise the amount of glass that can be collected, yet still be easy enough for the average person to lift when it’s full.

It is also the optimum size for the glass collectors to lift - and they have to do it many times every day. The size is the New Zealand standard size for residential properties and has worked well for other councils. Some say it’s too big, other’s too small. But it seems it meets the needs of the majority of residents.

There’s also the option of a second crate, which comes in at $26 for the year.

Marty Hoffart has yet another option - a deposit scheme. “If we had a 10 cent or 20 cent deposit on beverage containers like most of Australia, most of these issues would not be issues as people would take them back to a bottle return depot to be redeemed.”


Old school status quo

Posted on 23-11-2018 15:52 | By Mooga

If we don’t challenge the status quo and continue striving to be the same as everyone else we will never improve. Without their multiple wheelie bins and increased fees which are coming, i recycled everything. Not having glass recycling meant i used alternatives which were reusable and recyclable. Now council has control we are encouraging people to throw out more, paying more money for it and all so we can have a neater pile of rubbish at the end that doesn’t get recycled.

Don't laugh Marshal

Posted on 17-11-2018 00:40 | By CC8

If you laugh those La la loopys will think you are laughing with them not at them. I just love the way they come up with a "good" reason for everything...as if they actually though it out beforehand ! They are so far out of touch with the real world that they think they are advanced. They certainly think they know everything, but I wonder why they always refer to "that’s the way it’s done "elsewhere" , so it must be right for us" ...what they don’t see is that the council employees in the "elsewhere" are referring to Tauranga saying the self same thing.... Pffff.


Posted on 16-11-2018 21:44 | By dumbkof2

so if its just a few bottles over whats wrong with the driver just putting those ones in the truck then the rest in the bin. oh i forgot H&S dosnt allow. might strain the driver


Posted on 16-11-2018 21:04 | By outback

Bins are to bloody small should be a weekly collection

We all have to pay

Posted on 16-11-2018 18:22 | By joan king

Since the scheme started I have yet to put out a bin and it is still only about one third full. Whether we put bottles out or not we still have to pay for it - tough for people who just dont need it. We may get one bottle or one jar a week.

Oops would be right

Posted on 16-11-2018 16:30 | By The Sage

What a debacle. First they pull the glass collection, off the ratepayers before having another plan in place. This took over 6 months to arrive. Then they charge ratepayers $26 in their rates for the priviledge of this silly bin. Well they can stick it where the sun don’t shine. Before all this carry on I was very compliant with recycling. One bin for papers and glass and the other for general rubbish. I have cancelled the recycling bin, can’t put glass in it, I don’t get the newspaper. Any leftover paper items get put in with general rubbish. As for the blue bin, I know people who aren’t capable of getting it to their gates, me included, so I stick with alternative arrangements.

Ho-Ho, He-He, Haha..

Posted on 16-11-2018 15:07 | By Marshal

Woohoo life is so much fun here in La-La land. I just love it every time the TCC has anything to do with life.. If it wasn’t real , it would be hilarious. Actually it still is Hilarious . I wish I was an artist I could add some pics.. LOL.!!

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