Contractor Envirowaste Services Limited (ESL), which also collects the city's recycling, has taken over the rubbish collection contract and will be collecting the rubbish using specially-designed trucks similar to its recycling trucks that are operated by one person.
The Council's CitiOperations Manager, Mike Mendonca, says the changes will mean a safer service and less cost.
"Under the old arrangement, one or two 'runners' would run alongside the truck, riding on the back, to load at the rear of the truck, which could be hazardous.
"Under the new arrangement, the truck driver also collects the rubbish bags and we have deliberately slowed the vehicles down to make them safer."
Starting 6 August, people might notice some changes:
- The trucks will look different. There will be an interim period of a few weeks where ESL will use some of its existing trucks before the new Wellington ones are on the road.
- Rubbish might get picked up at a different time (but on the same day) than it has been in the past. Especially as the new drivers get used to their runs, rubbish bags might be on the street a little longer than usual.
- Trucks will drive more slowly than in the past. We will attempt to minimise any traffic disruptions but motorists are asked to be patient.
- In most suburban areas, the operators have strict instructions not to start before 8.00am (there are a few busy streets where the contractor is required to start earlier but these are a tiny minority).
Residents should put their bags out as close as possible, but no later than 8.00am on collection day, and not prior to 7.00pm the previous day. While being safer, it is estimated the new service will save the Council $200,000 annually.
Wellingtonians can get more information about the new rubbish collection service by phoning (04) 499 4444.