Rubbish bags in the Waimakariri District appear to be among the most expensive in the country.
At $2.90, the retail price of a single Waimakariri rubbish bag is higher even than in Auckland, where the Auckland City Council advertises its bags at only $2.30 each.
The Wellington City Council charges $2.50 a bag, and the Dunedin City Council $2.65.
Salvation Army Rangiora Corps captain Nigel De Maine said the army was considering adding rubbish bags to its food parcels to take the stress off people’s weekly costs.
“We do know that there are people in the community who are struggling to afford them.”
The Waimakariri draft annual plan for 2017-18 proposes lifting the price even further, to $3 a bag or $72.50 for a pack of 25 rubbish bags.
Kaiapoi resident Jo Reilly said she would rather pay more in her rates and have a bin instead of a bag.
“I can only buy bags at [a] Kaiapoi supermarket but work in town so have to make a special trip to buy them.”
Kaiapoi resident Lloyd Matthews said the cost of rubbish bags was “reasonable” if they lasted a week. His family of three went through about one bag a fortnight.
Waimakariri District Council solid waste asset manager Kitty Waghorn said the council received “fewer than one complaint a month” about bag prices.
However, she said the number of complaints did increase during the feedback period for the council’s annual and long-term plans.
Waghorn said the council was considering a bin collection service, which would address the “health and safety risks of a manual bag collection” and deal with animals getting into the bags.
A proposal, which would be funded by rates rather than pay-as-you-go bag purchases, would be put out for consultation in a few months.
_Emily Heyward for The Press