Council adopts rate to cover Raglan food waste collection costs

The future of the Raglan Food Waste Collection is secure following Waikato District Council’s adoption of an annual targeted rate of $72.90 to cover the service’s costs from July 2022.

Councillors unanimously agreed to support the staff recommendation to adopt the targeted rate, citing environmental benefits and Central Government’s direction of travel on food waste among reasons for doing so.

The decision follows a month-long consultation process held in March when 55% of 657 respondents supported the proposed targeted rate.

Property owners who live in Raglan were the majority of respondents (76%), while 12% of the respondents were tenants, 5% were holiday homeowners, 2% were landlords who don’t live in Raglan and 2% were business owners.

About 55% of local property owners, just over 85% of tenants, 30% of holiday homeowners, 62% of landlords and 81% of business owners supported the targeted rate.

Supporters of the targeted rate highlighted the great work that Xtreme Zero Waste (XZW) does in the area of waste minimisation and they acknowledged the importance of the service to the environment.

“Although we compost at home, we also use the XZW food collection particularly for meat and citrus. This is a very valuable community resource.

“We buy compost from XZW for our vegetable garden. The food waste collection, our own composting and the excellent recycling programme at XZW, mean that we put very little into the landfill, maybe one bag per six weeks,” said one submitter.

Those who opposed the targeted rate said they already composted at home and said it should be user-pays and many did not agree with an extra financial burden on ratepayers.

“I think this program is awesome for residents who, unlike me, don’t compost at home. However, I am tired of my rates going up,” said another submitter.

Raglan Ward Councillor Lisa Thomson thanked the Raglan community for getting involved with the consultation.

She acknowledged the many different points of view, but she is very pleased the food collection service will be continuing.

“Whaingaroa has been one of the leaders in food waste collection in New Zealand thanks to the efforts of Xtreme Zero Waste,” says Ms Thomson.

“I’m so glad the future of the collection has been ensured.

“While no one ever wants to pay more rates, the environmental benefits brought about by reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill are so important.

“What we’re doing here, both our council and our community, is taking climate change action – action that is needed for the long-term health of our town, out district and our country.”