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Source: Palmerston North City Council

Palmerston North’s recycling services, some drop-off stations and green waste will resume in Level 3 from 11am Wednesday 1 September, allowing staff time to ensure all the correct safety measures are in place.

During Alert Level 4 these services were closed, and all plastic and metal recycling was sent to landfill, so we could ensure our sorting line team were safe.

Under Alert Level 3, most of these services can be reinstated as critical business activity. Our teams are re-installing protection equipment and facilities are being sanitised.

Everyone visiting our facilities must use the Covid-19 Tracer app to scan the provided QR code, or use our contact register, as the Government has made this mandatory. Mask wearing and physical distancing will also be expected. Those not following the rules will be turned away. People should expect queues while we are meeting these measures.

Palmerston North City Council Chief Executive Heather Shotter says the waste team has worked hard to ensure recycling can be safely sorted from Wednesday.

Residents need to make sure that all rubbish is removed from their Council recycling wheelie bins before their next collection. Like always, all plastic, metal and glass need to be washed thoroughly under hot water.  

“We know how important it is to our residents that we resume recycling. We’re increasing safety measures at our Awapuni Resource Recovery Centre to allow this to happen under Alert Level 3. Our sorting team will be kept safe by being separated from each other by a perspex screen, following the physical distancing guidelines allowed in workplaces, and by wearing additional safety gear.”  

Recycling drop-off points at Awapuni and Ferguson St will reopen from 11am Wednesday, but Ferguson St will not be accepting e-waste as the office will be closed. The recycling drop-off point at Ashhurst will not re-open at Level 3 as a contactless service cannot be guaranteed. The Ashhurst Transfer Station and green waste will remain closed.

Green waste drop-off services will also be available at Awapuni from 11am Wednesday. Contactless EFTPOS will be the only payment method available for residents paying for green waste drop-off.

The privately owned Matthews Ave Transfer Station will also be open at Level 3 for people to take any large quantities of rubbish they’ve gathered during lockdown. Hours will be as normal, seven days a week, however the tip face will be limited to ensure physical distancing and people must wear masks and record their visit. More information is available on the EnviroWaste website.

Ms Shotter is asking residents to be patient at our sites.  

“We know a lot of residents have used the lockdown to tidy their homes, garages and yards. We will be operating with restrictions to ensure people can maintain their bubbles, so please don’t all rush to our sites when Level 3 starts as you may be in for a long wait.”

Some services returning or continuing

Council’s Building and Planning teams have been processing building and resource consents during Alert Level 4.  Under Alert Level 3, they are increasing their capacity to process consents, as well as resuming building site inspections.  

Cancelled building inspections are being rescheduled, however we are working through a backlog and ask for your patience with this. Staff are implementing a range of safety measures to ensure physical distancing is maintained onsite.    

Environmental Protection Services such as animal and noise control will continue to operate as they have done under Alert Level 4. For noise, we are following up complaints, although officers will have no contact with customers.

Our Animal Management team, including after-hours, will be attending priority jobs only. These include collecting secured dogs, dog attacks, aggressive dogs and stock on roads.  Roaming dogs will be attended when more than one complaint has been received for the same dog. Complaints can be made through our contact centre.  If we are collecting secured dogs, this will be in a contactless way. We will not be attending any property for barking dogs. We will either manage these by phone or follow up at a lower alert level.

Residents may see more of our roading and water crews out working, and we’d like to remind people to not approach them, as they are working in bubbles.

As our lawn mowing teams haven’t been out and about, you may notice that some of your neighbourhood parks have longer grass with us. Mowing will resume now we are in Alert Level 3, so please persevere with us as we play catch up.

Public toilets remain as they were during Alert Level 4. This allows us to continue the necessary cleaning protocols to protect public health.

Some facilities remain closed

Our customer service centre remains closed in Level 3, as do all libraries, pools, playgrounds, and our venues (including Arena fields).

Under Alert Level 3, people can travel a short distance for exercise. However, we’ve made the tough decision to keep Gordon Kear Forest, Arapuke Mountain Bike Park and the Sledge Track closed under Level 3.  Under Covid-19 Alert Level 3 guidelines, people can resume day walks and mountain biking if they are experienced. However, we have no way to restrict inexperienced people using the Sledge Track or Arapuke, so for the safety of users and emergency services, these will remain closed.  

Parking services will not be resuming at Alert 3 Level, so people can park for free while getting their click and collect orders. However, we will attend health and safety related callouts, such as people parking over driveways or footpaths.

Palmy residents urged to take guidelines seriously

Ms Shotter is urging all residents to take the Alert Level 3 guidelines seriously.  

“We’ve done this before, and we can do it again.  Please take the rules seriously and keep yourselves and your whānau safe. Thank you to the essential workers who are continuing to work to look after our community – we are extremely grateful for your help”