Rubbish Collection

During the recent Long Term Plan process Council signalled that it was changing the way they collect rubbish. While options for urban areas seemed reasonably straight forward it quickly became apparent that the issue was much more complicated for Lakeside Communities.

Because of the feedback received, Council decided that there needed to be further engagement with rural and lakeside communities to find solutions that will work for those areas. To that end Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC) have organised a series of meetings so that we can have a say on what services we want.

Although these meetings have been organised with very short notice – for Rotoiti next Saturday 8th August 2-5pm and then the following Saturday 15th 2-5pm – LRCA feels it is important for as many people as possible to get along to one of these meetings, especially if you have a holiday property at the lake. We have a real concern that the needs of non-permanent residents are not being adequately considered. At the same time if you live along one of our narrow or steep lakeside streets, or down a road not serviced by the rubbish trucks (so collection is from the end of your road) we are concerned about options being suggested for these area as well.

We encourage all – resident and non-resident alike – to attend one of these meetings to have your say.

RLC is also running an online survey as well ( so we also encourage you to fill this in, especially if you are unable to attend a meeting.

Once again we have some concerns around the survey, if you feel you are unable to express your preferences on it (or if you have other comments you wish to make) you can email council directly at If you are doing this you may like to cc in your Rotorua Lakes Community Board member, Phill Thomass at

What are our Options?

Below is a brief summary of issues we see with Council’s proposals, and our current preference where applicable.

Rubbish Collection

RLC is planning to move from paper bags to plastic wheelie bins for urban collection, and this is their preference for lakeside communities as well.

LRCA feels that while wheelie bins may suit some people, they will not suit in a number of situations:

  • Where people live along narrow and/or steep roads (eg Te Akau Rd) – there seems little space for wheelie bins without causing traffic hazards.
  • Where people live down a long or steep drive.
  • Where people live along a road that isn’t serviced directly by a rubbish truck so bags are left at the end of the road (eg Curtis Road).
  • Where people are non-residents. You may use (or let out) your house once a month, or once a year. Either way it is a long time for a wheelie bin to sit on the roadside outside your property before someone returns and is able to put it away.
  • Where occupancy fluctuates significantly – eg over summer. In winter a wheelie bin may be more than adequate, but during the summer months when friends and family visit it is hard to see how wheelie bins could cope with the dramatic rise in rubbish. Currently we can just put out as many rubbish bags as needed.

We prefer a mixed collection system, combining wheelie bins for those who would like them, and bags for those who bins would not work for. We think that possibly bags could be bought from the supermarket rather than delivered, and that these could either be council branded plastic bags (as in many other cities), or any bag could be used as long as it had a Council sticker (also purchasable from the supermarket) on it.

Other options are plastic bags only, or retaining our current council branded paper bags.

A quick search of Local Government websites shows us that a large number of cities provide a mixed collection system, with both bags and wheelie bins being collected by the same truck.

Examples of cities doing this include large ones such as Aucklaqnd and Wellington, and others of a similar size to Rotorua such as Napier.

What do you think?


Currently we have no recycling around Rotoiti. Council is looking at introducing it to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up at the dump, and because of its ecological and financial benefits. The options are for kerbside recycling, or a number of semi-local collection points. For kerbside recycling RLC favours a second wheelie bin for plastics, paper etc, and a plastic ‘crate’ for glass.

For reasons similar to those we outlined with general rubbish collection, we don’t see wheelie bins working for a large number of properties, and likewise for the glass crates.

Once again we favour a mixed collection system – wheelie bins for those who opt for general rubbish wheelie bins, and again (different coloured) plastic bags for recycling, bought, or free, from the supermarket for others. This system is successfully used by a large number of councils. For glass collection it may be that local collections sites would work well.

Other options include no recycling as is currently the case.

What do you think?

Okere Falls Transfer Station

While LRCA would like to see the Okere Falls Transfer Station retained, council sees the district’s transfer stations as inefficient, costly to run, and not widely used. Closure of sites such as Okere Falls is a very real possibility. How do you feel about this? Do you use the transfer station often? At all? Would you like to see it being open every day for free drop-off of council rubbish bags and recycling, and if it was, would you use it for that purpose? If it was open for recycling and council bag drop-off, would it need to continue to take the other general waste as it does now? Should it be expanded to take green waste?

What do you think?


Council is currently not planning any specific options for dealing with greenwaste around Rotoiti. Do you think that the Okere Falls Transfer Station should have a seperate collection area for greenwaste? Should options be considered for the collection of greenwaste in areas remote from the Transfer Station?

What do you think?

Please Attend a Meeting if you can, fill in the online survey, and email any concerns or ideas you have to Council. Also feel free to contact LRCA (website or your Community Board representative Phill ( directly.

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