Changes to DCC Waste Management Loading

Changes to DCC Waste Management Loading

Critic’s still looking for the 80% of students

A Critic Te Ārohi investigation into waste management has uncovered that unlicensed rubbish bags are being taken by collectors. This comes after we sniffed around allegations that students have been storing piles of rubbish in wait of July 1st when DCC will be rolling out their new rubbish collection system to the entire city.

Though rubbish management is currently a student responsibility, the DCC’s new rubbish collection system – regarded by the council as “the most advanced” waste collection system nationwide – will be included in the rates of property owners. This means landlords pay for your rubbish collection, not you.

In the new changes, all properties will get a wheelie bin for general waste plus a food scraps bin, alongside the existing mixed recycling bin and glass recycling bins. All bins will be collected weekly in the tertiary area. A DCC spokesperson told Critic Te Ārohi, “We hope that this will encourage students to separate their recycling properly, and that it will also make it easier to dispose of general waste. The new bins won’t be subject to attacks by dogs, cats, or seagulls, unlike the current black rubbish bags.”

The current options in the meantime involve a DCC licensed rubbish bag which ranges in price from $3-5, or a range of Waste Management bins which work out at around $40 a month. Yet, it has been reported to Critic that some students have foregone traditional waste management techniques, either piling up a collection of unlicensed black bags at their flat or dumping these bags in, uh, unique locations. One anonymous group said they got so desperate they dumped some of their rubbish at a nearby school. Sorry kids, not the mysterious midnight man with a sack you wrote to at Christmas. 

The closure of the Dunedin Wickliffe Street Transfer Station has limited options even further, preventing flatties from taking advantage of a Campus Watch trailer which would allow students to ship out a mound of rubbish for free. Responding to the cheeky strategy of forgoing rubbish collection, DCC have allegedly responded by picking up low-cost bin bags to keep Studentville clean. Low-cost regular bin bags cost only $1.79 for a 5-pack from Woolworths.

Critic Te Ārohi questioned a Howe Street flat if they purchased and used the official, approved DCC bags (bet they were enthralled by these juicy questions). They replied, “We were, but then we noticed nobody else was,” therefore deciding to save a cheeky buck by chucking their unwanteds in a low-cost bin bag, which was picked up by rubbish collection just the same. Several other flats whistled the same tune – including a Leith Street flat saying they just pop the “normal ones” out as opposed to the DCC-approved bags, which are successfully collected. This is despite the DCC claiming that “about 80% of students use official DCC rubbish bags.”

This leads to a certain degree of what the fuck. The Council’s website asserts “pre-paid black plastic rubbish bags are the only type of rubbish bags the DCC kerbside collection team picks up.” Even the University makes students aware of the claim, reporting on their website that “other bags won’t be collected.” 

This article first appeared in Issue 9, 2024.
Posted 9:54pm Friday 26th April 2024 by Abbie Williams.