Waste services at Alert Level 2

Solid waste services will be returning to a new normal as New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2 on Thursday 14 May.

Council transfer stations will be returning to normal operating hours from Thursday, excluding Gore Transfer Station, which will be returning to normal hours from Monday 18 May.

Facilities will continue operating the safe working practices they introduced under Alert Level 3 to ensure safe operations for both staff and customers, which includes limited customer numbers on site, contactless payments and recording customer details for contact tracing.

Southland District Council Strategic Manager Water and Waste Ian Evans said the second-hand goods sheds at the Southland District Council transfer stations will initially remain closed. “We are hoping to be in a position to reopen these services at some point in the coming weeks. We’ll keep the community informed of any changes in this space.” “We are also working with the contractors operating the Riversdale and Wallacetown greenwaste-only sites to get these up and running again soon,” Mr Evans said.

Kerbside recycling and rubbish collections are continuing as normal, with the exception of Invercargill where residents will no longer have the ability to dispose of garden waste in their red rubbish bins. Invercargill City Council Senior Waste Officer Donna Peterson said Invercargill and Bluff residents had the ability to put garden waste in their red rubbish bins at Levels 4 and 3 however, at Level 2 we are getting back to normal. “Residents can go back to disposing of their garden waste at their local council transfer station,” Ms Peterson said.

Southland disAbility Enterprises General Manager Hamish McMurdo said the Invercargill household recycling drop-off facility will remain closed for now. “Residents wishing to recycle via the drop-off area are asked to clean and store their recycling until further notice. We are working through a number of options and procedures to have this service available as soon as possible.”

Businesses wishing to drop off recycling are encouraged to make arrangements with Southland disAbility Enterprises. “We are able to collect business recycling directly from your premises, but charges will be applied. “While we are not yet set up to accept recycling being dropped off to us, we do still want it. Please clean and store your recycling until further notice,” Mr McMurdo said.

What using the transfer stations will look like under Alert Level 2:

  • One person per vehicle to limit the number of people on site: we are required to record customer details so they can be contact-traced if necessary. This will add to delays, especially if there is more than one person in the vehicle.
  • Staff will direct customers and limit vehicles in the disposal areas to allow physical distancing to be maintained – please follow all instructions.
  • Fees will still apply. Card payments only (no cash, no tokens).  At the Gore transfer station there will be no charge for garden waste.
  • The second-hand goods facilities will initially remain closed.
  • Customers should expect delays and be patient – it will be busy.