The original three bins proposal appeared to be a solid attempt to deal with the problematic green waste that is a headache for many residents and a huge methane producing problem at the dumping site. Past surveys had supported green waste collection and other towns do this and create useful compost. However a number of ratepayers objected to the inevitable increase in charges or having to pay for a system they personally wouldn't use and a growing controversy developed.
The council became split and Geoff Piercy valiantly stuck up for a system and a decision process he had led with mixed reactions from rate payers.
The debate continued for sometime and other Councillors reported on the potential difficulties of turning the collected green waste into commercially viable compost when contaminated waste introduced dangerous elements such as arsenic into the end product. The Timaru Council have invested a lot of money into their compost production and feel that potential contaminants can be kept out with a strong education programme and careful management.
Now we have Mayor Tim suggesting a two bin service to deal with unrecyclable waste and the recyclables. I can remember when the current system was introduced there was a certain level of angst and concern, yet now it is accepted as normal. Perhaps the council should just make a decision and ride through the inevitable adjustment period until it eventually beds in and is accepted. We need to manage our waste even better than we do currently (all the possible recyclables aren't currently collected) and any steps towards more environmentally friendly practices is a step in the right direction. It would be great to see green waste collected for those who do not make their own compost but perhaps there could be a more flexible arrangement of opting in or out of the service....