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The red bin – a personal account

By Brenda Ward

This is my story. I had to put put my red bin out for the first time. I had bought my tag and read the instructions and putting it on as I did, I believed I had followed what the instructions said. I did not realise at the time that I needed to thread it through both handles of the bin. I am not dumb, even though I’m in my seventies.

I was out on the footpath when the rubbish collection truck came and was standing beside my bin.

There were just two red bins to pick up in our street. The truck picked up the other bin and could see me there with my bin, but he didn’t look at me and drove off.

I called the Council office straight away and explained the situation. I wanted to know what I had done wrong. The customer service person who spoke to me said, “You haven’t put the ticket on right. I thought to myself, ’that’s pretty pedantic.” She then said, “I will call you back.”

I waited six days and still hadn’t had any response. I suffer from anxiety, and I knew I didn’t need to be worrying about my bin and trying to do it right. I did not understand why the truck couldn’t have just picked up my rubbish that once and told me the tag was on wrong. There were only two of us with bins out. How much extra would it have cost him to say to me, “You need to change the way you have put the ticket on.” I would have fixed it up.

I decided to take my own action.

I wheeled the red bin around the streets and up the ramp to the TCDC offices in Monk Street. My right arm doesn’t work as well, so I had only the use of my left arm. Now I don’t have a bin. I’m sharing with neighbours.

A follow-up phone call came as a result of my visit. I wasn’t being smart and said, “Do what you like with my bin.” I felt I was being spoken to condescendingly when she replied, “It’s not your bin.” I felt I wasn’t being treated like a person.

There should be a trial period time for people to get used to this system. Where was the customer service in all of this?

Of course, it is not my bin. What would I be buying a bin for? The cost of all the bins and then the tag system and policing it, must cost a whole lot more than the previous blue bags. Where can this be saving resources, saving recycling, saving fuel… and anxiety? I did not have a say or a choice in this. I was willing to follow along and tried my best. Now it is one strike and you’re out! The new Government is going to re-instate ‘three strikes and you’re out!’ for burglars and vandals. A pensioner gets one strike for putting on their rubbish bin tag the wrong way. A burglar gets three strikes!

The person on the line did say, “We are having a few problems with the bins.” The contractor is being paid by the Council with everyone’s rates. Where is the quality control? Where is the service? Why can’t TCDC take on the Contractor and share what they have done about it?

People want to be treated like they matter.

Reports regarding bins that have come to The Informer:

From Cooks Beach: A mystified resident reported that 25 bins in his street were left uncollected. Very few were picked up by the Waste Management truck. On checking with each other and talking with neighbours, the ‘Penny dropped’. They had either put the tag on wrongly or, in some cases, the tag had ripped in the process of threading through the handles – so the tag was carefully tucked under the handle (wrong -fail!!!) Yes – 25 residents had failed the test and without any explanation, their bins were not picked up.

From the road to Kuaotunu: The red bin was hauled up the long track to the road at the correct time on the correct day. The tag was on correctly. Their bin wasn’t picked up. Two calls to TCDC – “They will be along to pick it up. After three days and another call, TCDC customer service suggested they put the bin in their car and take it to the tip. It would not cost much. (How easy is it to haul a bin into your car and drive several kilometres to the tip?)

Phone call from Colville: The TCDC has sold the Tirohia Dump site to Waste Management. Twenty years ago, this was the same dumping ground used for excess 1080 bait. It is in the vicinity of the Tirohia Primary School.

Caption: Brenda Ward, above, on her way to TCDC offi ces in Whitianga with ‘her’ red bin.

 |  The Informer  | 

By Brenda Ward

This is my story. I had to put put my red bin out for the first time. I had bought my tag and read the instructions and putting it on as I did, I believed I had followed what the instructions said. I did not realise at the time that I needed to thread it through both handles of the bin. I am not dumb, even though I’m in my seventies.

I was out on the footpath when the rubbish collection truck came and was standing beside my bin.

There were just two red bins to pick up in our street. The truck picked up the other bin and could see me there with my bin, but he didn’t look at me and drove off.

I called the Council office straight away and explained the situation. I wanted to know what I had done wrong. The customer service person who spoke to me said, “You haven’t put the ticket on right. I thought to myself, ’that’s pretty pedantic.” She then said, “I will call you back.”

I waited six days and still hadn’t had any response. I suffer from anxiety, and I knew I didn’t need to be worrying about my bin and trying to do it right. I did not understand why the truck couldn’t have just picked up my rubbish that once and told me the tag was on wrong. There were only two of us with bins out. How much extra would it have cost him to say to me, “You need to change the way you have put the ticket on.” I would have fixed it up.

I decided to take my own action.

I wheeled the red bin around the streets and up the ramp to the TCDC offices in Monk Street. My right arm doesn’t work as well, so I had only the use of my left arm. Now I don’t have a bin. I’m sharing with neighbours.

A follow-up phone call came as a result of my visit. I wasn’t being smart and said, “Do what you like with my bin.” I felt I was being spoken to condescendingly when she replied, “It’s not your bin.” I felt I wasn’t being treated like a person.

There should be a trial period time for people to get used to this system. Where was the customer service in all of this?

Of course, it is not my bin. What would I be buying a bin for? The cost of all the bins and then the tag system and policing it, must cost a whole lot more than the previous blue bags. Where can this be saving resources, saving recycling, saving fuel… and anxiety? I did not have a say or a choice in this. I was willing to follow along and tried my best. Now it is one strike and you’re out! The new Government is going to re-instate ‘three strikes and you’re out!’ for burglars and vandals. A pensioner gets one strike for putting on their rubbish bin tag the wrong way. A burglar gets three strikes!

The person on the line did say, “We are having a few problems with the bins.” The contractor is being paid by the Council with everyone’s rates. Where is the quality control? Where is the service? Why can’t TCDC take on the Contractor and share what they have done about it?

People want to be treated like they matter.

Reports regarding bins that have come to The Informer:

From Cooks Beach: A mystified resident reported that 25 bins in his street were left uncollected. Very few were picked up by the Waste Management truck. On checking with each other and talking with neighbours, the ‘Penny dropped’. They had either put the tag on wrongly or, in some cases, the tag had ripped in the process of threading through the handles – so the tag was carefully tucked under the handle (wrong -fail!!!) Yes – 25 residents had failed the test and without any explanation, their bins were not picked up.

From the road to Kuaotunu: The red bin was hauled up the long track to the road at the correct time on the correct day. The tag was on correctly. Their bin wasn’t picked up. Two calls to TCDC – “They will be along to pick it up. After three days and another call, TCDC customer service suggested they put the bin in their car and take it to the tip. It would not cost much. (How easy is it to haul a bin into your car and drive several kilometres to the tip?)

Phone call from Colville: The TCDC has sold the Tirohia Dump site to Waste Management. Twenty years ago, this was the same dumping ground used for excess 1080 bait. It is in the vicinity of the Tirohia Primary School.

Caption: Brenda Ward, above, on her way to TCDC offi ces in Whitianga with ‘her’ red bin.