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How much green goes in the red bin?

How much green goes in the red bin?
The Ashburton District Council is proposoing to add green waste kerbside collection in its long-term plan. SUPPLIED\

How much green waste the Ashburton District sends to landfill will be investigated before introducing kerbside green waste collection.

It is estimated that green waste makes up around 40% of the district’s general wast.

The Ashburton District Council is planning to introduce green waste collection in 2026, to align with a new waste management contract.

It has to start collecting household food waste by 2027 under government legislation, but in the long-term plan, the council is proposing to expand that to a food and organic waste collection service.

Which service it lands on will be decided over the next few weeks as councillors deliberate on public feedback to the draft plan.

But councillor Richard Wilson wants work done to get a clearer picture of how much green waste is being sent to the landfill at Kate Valley.

“So we don’t wake up on the first day of green waste and go 'whoops we were wrong' by what could be three of four thousand tonnes quite easily”.

Infrastructure and open spaces group manager Neil McCann said it was something the council could look into.

“We could do an occasional audit over the next few months just to get an idea or feel towards how much green waste is in the red bins.

“It would be a good idea to get a rough estimate.”

Between June 2023 and March, the Ashburton District sent 11,426 tonnes of waste to the regional landfill at Kate Valley.

That puts the district on track to surpass the 14,800 tonnes in the previous financial year.

The introduction of green waste bins aims to dramatically reduce those figures, with a 2001 study showing between 32-40% of the waste going to landfill was organic.

The introduction of green waste bins will also present a cost saving by reducing the amount of waste being transported to Kate Valley.

For both green bin options the collected waste would be taken to the Ashburton Resource Recovery Park, and then sent to a plant in Canterbury for composting.

But there is a setup cost and additional cost of collection.

The council expect to receive a waste minimisation fund subsidy to help offset the introduction costs.

The 240-litre organic and food waste bin would cost ratepayers $72 while the 23l food waste bins would cost $35 per year.

By Jonathan Leask