Transfer station fees could be increasing from 1 July. Photo: Kate Russell.

Landfill fees set to increase

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The cost of dumping rubbish is set to rise again, subject to confirmation through the annual plan.

During a Nelson City Council infrastructure committee meeting last Thursday, councillors voted nine to four in favour of an eight percent increase to solid waste charges at the Pascoe St transfer station.

This is made up of five percent to the York Valley landfill, and the re-tendering of the transfer station contract this financial year plus overall management costs will likely result in an anticipated three per cent increase.

The changes would be effective from 1 July, subject to the 2020/21 annual plan process.

Two new categories are being proposed, including shredded tyre waste at a charge of $170/ m3.

Currently, it is less expensive for commercial operators to take shredded tyres to the transfer station and dump as general refuse, than to pay for disposal of intact tyres at landfill.

This deprives council of approximately $15,000 income per year.

“We had a few people who were taking advantage of the fact we didn’t have that as a category and that was depriving council’s income because of the way they were disposing of tyres,” said manager of transport and solid waste, Marg Parfitt.

Also, in response to public requests, a new category for small bags of rubbish to be taken to the transfer station is being proposed.

A bag of rubbish that is equivalent to a 65L blue bag or less will cost $4 to dump, with a maximum of three bags per transaction.

Although the majority supported the increase, others said they couldn’t support the move, including Cr Gaile Noonan.

“Eight per cent seems an awful lot, I just think it’s the wrong time, I would be happy to delay it. I know we’re going to revisit this but, on principle, I think it’s a huge increase and I can’t support it.”

However, committee chair Brian McGurk implied the rise is unavoidable, saying “it’s going to be painful but if we leave it any longer there is going to be greater pain.”

Cr Tim Skinner said the costs are “getting intolerable for Joe Bloggs, intolerable for businesses” but agreed “we’ve got to cover our costs.”

Mayor Rachel Reese also expressed her concern.