It was a call from one of the Times readers that set us thinking. The caller expressed concern about the new wheelie rubbish bins to be introduced to the former Manukau City Council area in June or July with the first collection day being in September.
Few people are aware that the new rubbish bins come with a chip embedded in them and, he claimed, will not only register the residential address but will also weigh the rubbish content in the bin.
He said that the Auckland Council Waste Management team would keep a record of how much your rubbish weighs and then charge extra if it’s overweight.
The local resident wanted to know how Auckland Council was going to police it.
“What if my neighbour decides to dump some extra rubbish in our bin? Or then what happens on the days we have a party and there is more rubbish in the recycling bin?” he asked.
“How are we going to measure it ourselves?”
When the Times contacted Terry Coe, Waste Enteprises and Refuge Manager, Auckland Council, he was quick to set the record right.
Mr Coe confirmed the new bins would have chips embedded and be programmed with the householders’ address of.
“It will have a unique Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID, an identifying number to record the pickings,” he said.
“What the RFID will do is identify the address on the bin and record it if the bin is broken or if the wheels have come off and needs replacement or maintenance. What it doesn’t do is track the volume or record the weight of the household rubbish,” he emphasised, binning the conspiracy theory.
“There is no technology available at yet anywhere in the world to do that,” he clarified.
“All the chip will do is help us with the management of the asset.”
Mr Coe, who looks after the implementation of the commercial aspects of Auckland Council’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP), explained that the chip will also record the collection rate.
“We will be able to tell how many households put their rubbish out so that we can contract work accordingly. There are a lot of people who don’t put their rubbish out regularly so the chip would help us keep track,” he said.
“If people need to upsize their bins or if they need help we are more than happy to step in and fix the problem.”
The new bin holds 120 litres of rubbish, about the same as two black rubbish bags. If the 120 litre bin is not big enough, you can request a 240 litre bin.
The larger bin will add about $55 to your rates next year. Exact charge to be finalised in June.