Joint-Council Solid Waste Project

This project is now complete. Please now refer to for information about rubbish and recycling.


"Shared Solid Waste Services" is a project between the Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki and Matamata District Councils.

Through working together, the three Councils aim to improve the overall management of waste, improve efforts to reduce solid waste and to seek savings to rate payers.

Work completed to date

  • Assessment of key issues and options for a joint contract
  • Development of a draft work programme
  • Development of a draft Agreement (MoU)
  • A joint waste assessment across the three councils has also been carried out in preparation for development of Waste Management and Minimisation Plans (WMMP).
  • A joint WMMP (approved on 29 February 2012).

Increased scope

In June 2011 the Council approved an increase in the scope of the project to include:

  • Joint working at a strategy and policy level
  • Developing a joint WMMP (adopted)
  • Examine the potential to also share "back office" management and other in-house resources and services to optimise the benefits of shared services ie., a waste minimisation officer.

Next steps

  • All councils have confirmed that they wish to proceed with a joint services contract across the three councils with a proposed commencement date of July 2013.
  • Examine other shared services options as discussed above.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is solid waste?

This is the "rubbish" collected from our kerbside collection and at our refuse transfer stations.

Why are we doing this?

The aim of the project is to ultimately save rate payers money by gaining economies of scale with other Councils in order to create efficiencies and savings, which is a major objective of the Council's Direction (Mission, Vision, Objectives).

What is a Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP)?

Under the Waste Minimisation Act (2008), all territorial authorities must have waste management and minimisation plans adopted, including methods and activities for reducing waste, before they are eligible to receive any funding from the Ministry for the Environment.

Existing waste management plans prepared under the Local Government Act 2002 are deemed to be waste management and minimisation plans under the Waste Minimisation Act.

These must be revised under the Waste Minimisation Act before 1 July 2012.

Territorial authorities must review their waste management and minimisation plan every six years.

What is The Waste Minimisation Act (2008)?

The Waste Minimisation Act (2008) brings the waste management responsibilities of territorial authorities into one Act, and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of territorial authorities in waste management and minimisation. This guide provides an overview of your responsibilities under the Act with quick hyperlink references to the legislation and other useful information.
Responsibilities under the Act

The Waste Minimisation Act requires territorial authorities to promote effective and efficient waste management and minimisation within their district.

Latest update from the Joint-Committee (June/July 2012)

In late June the Eastern Waikato Solid Waste Joint Committee was asked to recommend the preferred governance and management model for solid waste services and the best way forward for a shared services procurement strategy.

It was recommended by the committee that the three councils operate a shared services procurement strategy for the collection of solid waste in our districts, for a contract term of seven years that;

  • Enables councils to take advantage of opportunities where they exist through a shared service arrangement but does not constrain the councils to participate where there is no mutual advantage.
  • Provides incentives for the contractor to reduce waste and implement efficiencies and allows flexibility for the contractor to present proposals as the contract evolves.
It further sought;
  • Minimum levels of service for ‘core services’
  • Levels of service that meets the need of diverse communities
  • Flexibility for the contractor to propose how best to meet expected levels of service

Bidders will be asked to clarify how they will meet the objectives of the WMMP, meet targets and deliver cost savings.

Read the full 26 June resolution of the Eastern Waikato Solid Waste Joint Committee


A range of matters were considered such as;

  • Procurement
  • Funding
  • Governance
  • Management
  • Contract term
  • Time frame


The committee considered integrated versus separate contracts for services. This could mean one single contract for all solid waste services (ie kerbside collection, transfer station operation, delivery to landfill etc); having only ‘core services’ and negotiating separately for extra services; keeping some services without clear synergies separate, such as landfill disposal; or requesting proposals from bidders.

Joint vs Combined Administration

Another consideration was whether to administer the solid waste contract separately – as is currently done – each council administering ‘non-core’ service contracts separately; or all contracts administered jointly.

Procurement Process

A range of options were considered including focussing on best outcomes at start or over the life of the contract, price weighting of 50 per cent or more and price weighting of less than 50 per cent, only bidders meeting non-price attribute criteria evaluated on price.

Involvement of community groups and contributing to local economic development are among other considerations.

The committee resolved to ensure the evaluation process is transparent, fair and meets all legal obligations.


The committee had to consider who would retain income from services such as bag sales, refuse transfer station charges etc.

It recommended to the three Councils that;

Each retain authority to determine their financial input to the shared service.

No Council should be expected to pay another Council's costs. This means some councils may gain more than others in a shared service arrangement.

Different levels of service should be paid for by those that benefit. The pricing schedule provided by bidders therefore needs to clearly reflect pricing for each Council and for different levels of service within each Council.

In the first instance there may need to be different charging regimes (and hence funding approaches) across the different Councils. If over time there are reasons to standardise charges then this can evolve.

Bidders will be asked to clarify whether they will retain earnings from transfer stations, bag sales and commodity sales and whether new services such as food waste collections and capital works including a material recovery facility are to be included in the contract.


It recommended a Governance arrangement for the shared service through the Joint Committee of the Councils.


It recommended management via an officer working group from the three Councils.

Contract Term

Seven years with provision for an extension


The proposed timeframe and programme will result in new contracts in place from 1 July 2013.