Do's and dont's for your blue rubbish bag 20 March 2018 Residents have been asking why we don’t collect official blue Council rubbish bags if they are hanging from trees or lamp posts, so we thought it was time for a friendly reminder about our Kerbside collection policy. We require rubbish to be placed on the kerb for collection on the designated collection day for your area. We’ve been receiving phone calls from residents who have been unhappy to find stickers on their rubbish bags, which weren’t collected because they were hung in a tree. We recognise the reason for hanging the bags in trees is usually to prevent seagulls or dogs from ravaging the rubbish. And in the past, the team at our solid waste contractor Smart Environmental has made an effort to accommodate residents who hang their bags up in this way. However, bags hanging in trees and from poles makes the manual handling of rubbish bags difficult and dangerous for the runners collecting our rubbish. Unhooking a bag at shoulder or face-height requires the runner to pull the bag close towards their body, placing them at risk if there are sharp items in the bag. But if the bag is on the ground, they can lift the bag away from their body, reducing any risk of harm. If Smart Environmental find rubbish bags in trees, power poles, or on the median strip in your street, they will place a sticker on the bag and leave it. The same applies if the council-provided black wheelie-bins and recycling crates are used incorrectly. These bins are for recyclables only and will not be collected if they have contaminated rubbish. For a list of what you can put in your wheelie bin and recycling crate, click here: What can you do to keep your rubbish tidy?We are often asked for ways to keep seagulls away from rubbish bags on the kerb. One option is the ‘gullinator’ made from sturdy plastic mesh with a hoop and drawstring top. The gullinator fits over the rubbish bags to stop seagulls pecking at the bags on collection day - as shown in the photo right. This simple solution was created by Whangamata resident Anna Fryer who was tired of picking up rubbish strewn over the road and footpaths by seagulls after they got into rubbish bags on collection day. The gullinator is available for $15 from all our Council service centres. Residents can also buy their own standard rubbish bin with a lid to place their blue bag inside. The rubbish can not be loose and the lid must be fixed to prevent pests from getting at the bag.