© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Three strikes and we take your bin

Lachie McLeod
Yellow Bin
Christchurch residents are fed up with losing their bins  Newsline

Christchurch residents are fed up with council's hard-nosed approach to reduce the amount of rejected recycling. 

Cole Braxton feels council's taking the wrong approach and finds it incredibly frustrating.  

"The council has suddenly moved the goal posts, but they haven’t moved them a little bit, they’ve moved them into another field somewhere." 

He believes Christchurch residents are being hard done by.  

Residents are trying to recycle properly but, one bottle cap and they find themselves on the naughty list.  

Another problem is people putting contraband items in other bins on the street. 

Tracey Sharp has been forced to take photos of her bin before she puts it out to prove she is recycling properly.   

Sharp feels it’s unfair to be penalised for someone else’s rubbish and Burwood community board member Linda Stewart agrees.   

"It’s not fair...the only way you’re going to fix that is to lock your bin and that’s not practical."   

Sharp says the council only surface checks the bins, and they need to start thoroughly going through them.   


Tracey Sharp's new form of proof that she's recycling properly. Tracey Sharp

Stewart says it seems unjust to be penalised if someone else dumped items in a yellow bin.  

She believes people who lose their yellow bin and choose to throw everything into the red bin are not helping the environment.   

The best way to solve this issue comes back to education, but she doesn't think everyone will get on board. 

Council resource recovery manager, Ross Trotter, says residents need to "limit the period of time their bin is at the curbside by not putting it out until the end of the evening before collection or just prior to 6am". 

But Sharp said, "what person is going to get out of bed and take a bin to the street at six in the morning?" 

Her solution... pick the bins up later.  

Yellow recycling bins
Yellow recycling bins CCC Facebook Page

Christchurch City Council is taking a hardline approach and has removed 664 bins in the past nine months.    

These residents were given three previous warnings before confiscation.   

There is a fee of $97.65 to have a replacement bin redelivered to the address.   

If Braxton has his bin confiscated, he will be getting another red bin and calling it a day.   

"I’m not collecting all the recycling up and driving to the dump every week to put it in the right bins...I don’t have time for that." 

Ross Trotter claims residents are "generally in support of this initiative" and the council has observed an "improvement in the quality of the recycling".  

To find out more about the bin checking process click here.