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Council tips rise in rubbish fees

Carterton District Council [CDC] is blaming the emissions trading scheme [ETS] for a possible rise in its transfer station fees.

It said a recommendation council agenda suggested the price of waste at the Dalefield Rd site increase from March 1 from $200 including GST to $246 plus GST per tonne of waste.

The increase would bring Carterton’s fees to the same level as Masterton’s, which increased on February 1.

The council said the recommendation was because of fees increasing at Midwest Disposal’s Bonny Glen landfill site.

Midwest Disposals takes waste from Carterton, Masterton, and South Wairarapa Districts to its Bonny Glen landfill in Rangitikei.

Midwest Disposals cited increased costs to manage the waste as a result of central Government levies.

“The ETS requires landfill operators to buy carbon credits for every tonne of waste. Bonny Glen has gas extraction systems that allow them to reduce the carbon credits they must buy, but they cannot reduce it to nil,” the CDC said.

The price of carbon has increased over the last few years from $25 per tonne to $75 per tonne.

The ETS cost has been built into the Midwest gate fee to Wairarapa councils and has been fixed at $13.38 since 2018.

Now, Midwest has proposed a new price of $39.80, the CDC said.

Carterton councillors will discuss a recommendation to raise charges at the transfer station to cover the increasing costs of landfill caused by the recently introduced waste disposal levy and the ETS on Wednesday.

CDC corporate services manager Kelly Vatselias said the council would “incur a significant financial deficit” if it does not increase transfer station fees.

“We would not usually seek to implement a rise in costs in the middle of a year, and we always try to keep costs as low as possible for our community.

“However, the recent significant cost rise for all Wairarapa Councils resulted in this recommendation,” Vatselias said.

She said more applications for large-scale, commercial use of the transfer station would come at a high cost to the community.

Vatselias said the council strongly encouraged people to reduce waste in landfill by reducing, reusing, and recycling where possible.

“Due to the differences in scale of use, Carterton’s transfer station is subsidised by rates. Masterton’s station is 100 per cent user pays,” CDC said.

The meeting opens to the public at 1 pm on Wednesday, February 15 and will be recorded and posted online later.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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