Make the most of waste by the Auckland Council

Frequently asked questions

WHY

Why does Auckland Council fund an inorganic collection?

The annual inorganic collection is included in Auckland’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan of June 2012 as a key strategy to help reduce inorganic waste to landfill, while offering a convenient option for Aucklanders to dispose of unwanted items.

A later survey of Aucklanders confirmed that the large majority of people wanted to retain the service, with just 4 per cent saying they would prefer no service.

The Governing Body endorsed the new regional service as part of Long-term Plan 2015-2025 deliberations in June 2015. It will be funded through the targeted waste rate.

This service provides materials to charity groups and a developing network of community recycling centres by providing them with reusable materials. As the new centres develop it is expected that residents will be able to drop off unwanted goods at any time during the year. 

The centres will also provide local training and job opportunities.

Is Auckland Council’s inorganic collection being cancelled?

No, we are changing it to offer one consistent service across Auckland. The new system is annual ( once a year in a specified time period), booked by the resident, funded by rates (so there is no additional charge to book) and provided on-property, meaning material will not be collected from the streets or kerbside. Not only will this mean everyone in Auckland is offered the same level of service, but we will also increase the amount of material collected which can be reused or recycled.

Why is the inorganic collection changing?

The changes are designed to reduce waste to landfill by recovering and reusing more items. The new collection model will also reduce mess on streets, reduce illegal dumping and improve health and safety, both for the public and collectors.

What was wrong with the previous collection and scavenging materials from the kerbside?

Many people are happy to see their unwanted items find news homes. The kerbside service gave opportunities for people to make money from reusing and recycling but also created unwanted nuisance issues at the same time, such as unsightly mess, traffic accidents, blocked footpaths and illegal dumping by small businesses, which was a cost to ratepayers. There were also issues with dangerous chemicals being released into the environment if people removed parts from items such as fridges, air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

The new service will still see people’s pre-loved items getting a second life, without the nuisance and hazards.

Why isn’t my collection at the same time of the year as it used to be?

The new service has a new way of collecting materials. The new service will see collections running throughout the region at the same time.

This is so collectors can move resources from one area to another, depending on the number of bookings, for example from an area with low bookings to an area with high bookings.

This collection method also provides better efficiency and better value for ratepayers.

  

SERVICE COST

How is the inorganic collection funded? How much does the service cost?

The cost of the collection is $22.77 and included in the targeted waste charge, which is part of the annual rates bill.

Can I get a rates rebate if I don’t use the inorganic collection?

No, it’s a service offered to all ratepayers, similar to the kerbside recycling collection service and you do not get a rates refund if you choose not to use the service.

ANNUAL ON-PROPERTY PICK-UP SERVICE

When will the 2017 inorganic service start (in my area)?

Inorganic collections in 2017 run from March through to December. You can find your collection week by using the online booking tool to look up the date. Please note that this doesn’t mean you have to book a collection, although we welcome and encourage early bookings. 

How do I find out when my pick-up is?

We will put a flyer in your letterbox, approximately three weeks prior to collection. Another option is to use the online booking tool to look up your collection week. 

Can I find out in advance when my collection is due?

You can check via our online booking tool.

You should also receive a flyer in your letterbox, approximately three weeks prior to collection.

If you have already booked your collection, you will also receive an email, text or phone call to confirm what day the collectors will pick up items from on your property.

What happens if I don’t receive the flyer in my letterbox?

You can check the website, call us or visit a service centre to see if the collection is in your area. The booking tool is online and will tell you if you can book a collection.

What would happen if I forget to make a booking and then approach the collectors on the day they are in my street, will they take my items?

No, our collectors can only take items from properties for which a booking has been made. Visit the council's website for alternative ideas on ways to dispose of your waste.

How will the contractor confirm the actual collection date with the customer?

If booking online, contact will be made by e-mail. If a mobile or landline number is provided then either text message or phone call.

Do I have to stay home on the collection day?

You can stay home if you would like to, but you don’t need to. Ensure you leave gates unlocked and dogs tied up away from where you have left items for collection.

What would happen if I miss my booking period? Or people try to book a pick-up once the collection has been completed in their area?

If you have missed this year's collection, take a look on neigbourly.co.nz and post any reusable goods for your neighbours and community. Click here for  other ways of disposing of your unwanted items. 

 How does the new collection system work?

Our collection team travels in two trucks. The first truck collects reusable and recyclable items. A second truck will then visit later, to collect other accepted items. In total, one cubic metre of items will be collected.

I booked but my items weren’t collected/collectors didn’t stop?

If there are items left after both trucks have called, the second truck will leave a card explaining why those items have not been taken. This may be because there was more than one cubic metre of items, there were items that are not accepted for collection or because the collectors could not get to your items. If you did not receive a card explaining why items have been left, please contact council to check if the collectors visited your property.

What items can I put out for the inorganic pick up?

Accepted items are listed on your flyer and here. Accepted items are listed on your flyer and on council’s website. They include: large and small appliances; furniture and ornaments; outdoor furniture and gear; electronics; sports equipment and toys; timber; and building and renovation fixtures / fittings. The amount is limited to approximately 1 cubic metre per property. This is a total volume – large items of furniture such as a tall bookshelf or a long couch will be taken (if they can be lifted by two people), they do not have to be chopped up to fit within an actual cubic metre. You can also click here for ideas about other ways to dispose of your unwanted items. 

How do collectors identify what is taken for collection?

Householders are asked to place items in a pile close to an access way on their property. Collectors are trained on what items are accepted by the council (check the flyer or website for this list).

What happens to items once they are collected?

Reusable or repairable items recovered from inorganic collections will be provided to local community recycling centres, as well as charities who can register to receive items.

How can I register to receive inorganic items?

Contact the Community Recycling Network who is managing this for the council. Visit www.communityrecyclers.org.nz and fill out the online form.

What if items that I wanted to keep are taken?

This is unlikely to happen, however collectors will take a before and after photo as proof of what was taken. Please contact us if you believe something has been taken in error. Photos will be stored for one year from the date of your collection.

What if someone other than the council collectors come onto my property and takes my inorganic items?

If someone asks if they can take your items from your property you may wish let them do so, however you are under no obligation to let anyone take your items, and they must leave your property if you ask. If you feel threatened you may choose to call the police.

What happens if other people add to your inorganic pile? And then items are left behind by collectors?

If you discover someone has added to your pile and these items are left behind by collectors, please contact the council to discuss your situation.

What happens if items are dumped on the kerbside in front of my property?

Call the council and report illegal dumping, along with any details such as vehicle license plates/descriptions so that our enforcement staff can investigate.

What happens if I put items out on the kerbside for collection?

Items will not be collected and a card/sticker will be put in their letterbox/on the pile informing the householder that the items must be removed or a fine will be issued. Items left on this kerbside are considered illegal dumping and can lead to fines of up to $400.

What happens if householders put out items out on their property when the collection is not due or has not been booked?

A collection will not happen unless bookings are open and the resident books the service. Our collectors cannot pick up items without permission provided as part of the booking process.

What if I have too much for the inorganic collection, what should I do?

If you have more than one cubic metre of items you should look at other options including:

  • Giving items to family or friends, or using a community Facebook group to offer items to others in your neighbourhood. You may prefer to donate your items to a charity shop or second hand store.
  • Neighbourly has created a dedicated section to make it as easy as possible for you to offer your unwanted items to your local community. View here.
  • There are online networks that connect people givers and receivers of items . Check websites like freecycle.org and asksharegive.org.nz
  • You could sell items using an online auction site or get together with your neighbours to host a community garage sale.
  • Recycler.org.nz lists companies which recycle things like batteries, building materials, metals and more. Fees may apply.
  • Check the council’s website for alternative ways to rehome your unwanted goods.

What do I do if the collectors leave items behind?

If the collectors leave items after the collection they will leave a card in your letterbox stating why items have been left. It could be that you put out too many items, the wrong items or they could not access your property to collect. Click here for ways to dispose of hazardous items 

 

ELIGIBILITY AND ACCESS

Am I eligible for an inorganic collection service after July 2015?

All Auckland properties paying a targeted waste charge will be eligible for the new inorganic collection service.  Only inorganic waste of a domestic nature will be collected.

I own more than one property. Can I have more than one collection?

A service will be provided for every property with a targeted waste charge. The occupier of the property is entitled to book the collection.

I live in an apartment / town house / block of flats, how can I use the service?

All households are eligible for the inorganic service. Please book your service using the booking tool, which includes a field for advising us of any access issues at the property. In some cases the council will work with building and body corporate managers to enable large scale rather than individual collections. You will receive notification from your building or body corporate contacts if this applies to your building.

Can community groups / sports clubs, schools, churches, charities and community centres use the new inorganic service?

These premises are generally not eligible as they do not pay rates. They can phone council to check if they are entitled to an inorganic collection.

What about commercial properties?

Commercial properties in the Auckland region (excluding Manukau) are charged the targeted waste rate and are entitled to an inorganic collection. The items accepted must be of a domestic nature, such as an old couch or fridge from the staff room, not trade waste. The limit of one cubic metre applies. The booking process for commercial properties is the same as for residential properties.

I have a long driveway. Will the collectors bring their trucks up to my house and if they do, what if they cause damage?

If you have a long drive way or access issues please note these when you make your booking and collectors will be in touch to find a solution. Where possible collection vehicles will avoid going on to private property. Check the Terms and Conditions when you make a booking regarding damage to property.

What if I don’t have a front yard to leave inorganic items out for pick-up?

Make sure you enter any access issues into the booking tool and the collectors will be in touch to find a solution.

Can contractors go to the back of a property?

Yes, but only if that is the only access to your property. You should note this when making your booking.

 

BOOKING

Why do we need to book online, what if I don’t have a computer?

It’s easy and may be quicker than other booking options. If you don’t have access to a computer or your own email address, then you can phone or book in person at a service centre, or have someone book on your behalf.

Why don’t I create a user name and password when making a booking?

You will only use the service once a year. This facility may be added later.

What information do I have to give to make a booking online?

Please provide an e-mail address, property address and contact phone number when making an online booking. An email is mandatory for online bookings. A contact phone number is preferred in case the collector needs to make contact on collection day.

Do I have to have an e-mail address to make a booking over the phone or in person?

No, you can make a booking using just a mobile number so you can get a confirmation by text message.

What if I do not have a mobile phone number?

You can provide a landline phone number to us and we will call you to confirm your booking.

Can you send my booking confirmation by post?

The booking period is short and if a letter is posted it may arrive too late and you may miss your collection.

Can someone book in a pick-up on my behalf?

Yes, as long as they have valid contact details and there is only one booking per property.

What if a customer phones to change a booking and has forgotten, or didn’t record, their booking reference?

A customer service representative can find the booking reference if you can provide the email address and property address used to make the booking.

What details can customers change?

You can change the name, phone number and email address on your booking or cancel your booking up to a week prior to collection week.

How will the collector confirm the actual collection date with me?

You will receive an email, or a text message or a phone call, depending on what contact details you have supplied. An email address is required for all bookings made online.

My address is a unit number. Will the tool recognise it when I type it in?

Addresses are populated as you type. If you cannot find your address, you can contact the council and a customer service representative will make the booking for you.

Are there any security checks to prevent others from modifying or cancelling bookings over the phone or in person?

A customer needs to have the email address, the street address and booking ID to change or cancel a booking.

Why have my reusable items not been taken by the first truck?

The new collection method for this service will use two trucks – the first to collect items that can be reused and the second to take all other items. The council’s collectors will assess all items set out for collection and take items based on an acceptance criteria , where  the items can be of reuse  value to community groups/charities.

Why can I only put out up to 1 cubic metre of items for pick up?

The amount charged in the targeted rate for this service allows for collection of a limited amount of material from properties.

Why are you only collecting in certain areas?

Our collection areas have been mapped to allow for a relatively equal number of properties to be collected from each week, over the one year period. This may mean that neighbouring streets or suburbs are not collected at the same time, but all eligible properties will receive a service within a year.

Does council make a profit from the items that are reused or recycled in the inorganic collection?

Reusable items are given to registered receivers for free. Recyclable items are sold by the contractor to reduce the cost of collections to the ratepayer.

Why do you not collect certain items?

Items such as bags of household rubbish or recyclable packaging should be put out in your usual kerbside collection. Other items such as gas cylinders may be dangerous for our collectors to handle, or items may be of a commercial rather than a domestic nature, such as building and automotive waste.