GARBAGE! EnviroWaste Red Bins GONEBURGER In Dunedin!

GARBAGE! EnviroWaste Red Bins GONEBURGER In Dunedin!

On the upside, from next year we’ll have more bins to kick

At least one provider of Dunedin’s red bins, EnviroWaste, have pulled the plug on signing up new customers. Fears of an impending bin monopoly have been dismissed by EnviroWaste, who said the move is only temporary. 

A check of the EnviroWaste website using Dunedin addresses shows an error message reading: “There are no services available in your location.” Their local competitor, Waste Management, still appears to be taking on customers, with their website allowing Dunedin customers to sign up online. This leaves them as the only alternative to Dunedin City Council (DCC) rubbish bags. Georgie Hills, EnviroWaste’s PR and communications manager, told Critic Te Arohi that the move was not a permanent one: “We’re in the process of replenishing our bin stocks so we can accept new customer requests.”

There has been speculation that the move is due to the DCC introducing their new “four-bin” system, from July 1 next year. As part of that, they’ll be replacing their black rubbish bags in favour of red rubbish wheelie bins to be collected fortnightly. A new 23L food waste bin (around half the size of glass recycling bins) will also be introduced and collected weekly. The current yellow recycling bins and blue glass bins will stay the same. This is estimated to cost an extra $160-200 per year, which will be added onto council rates. In other words, if you’re renting, you will no longer need to pay for your own bins unless you need extra space. PSA: if your landlord uses it as an excuse to hike your rent next year, remind them that the cost of the new bins works out to less than $4 per week.

Compared to the current system of rubbish bags and red bins, most people will get less rubbish space for what you’re paying, but you’ll get to send your food waste bins for composting instead. Gardening nuts can also sign up for a 240L green waste bin, which will be collected every week for an extra $140-180 per year. A DCC spokesperson told Critic Te Arohi that “We remain on schedule to begin the new services in July 2023” with a new preferred supplier.

EnviroWaste and Waste Management are the two big dogs of Aotearoa’s rubbish and recycling industry: as well as running their own private services, they own most of the country’s landfills and transfer stations, and many councils contract their own services out to them. Both companies are tiny cogs in massive multinational corporations; EnviroWaste is owned by Hong Kong-based conglomerate Cheung Kong Infrastructure, controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing (net worth US$37 billion). Waste Management, meanwhile, was owned by Chinese state-owned Beijing Capital Group, but has recently been sold to Australian investment fund Igneo Investment Partners. So maybe, in a strange, fucked-up way, bin-kickers are really protesting wealth inequality and sticking it to the man. Critic suggests you do it somewhere else, though. It’s annoying. 

This article first appeared in Issue 14, 2022.
Posted 1:57am Saturday 9th July 2022 by Denzel Chung.