John Tamihere vows to bring back inorganic collections

John Tamihere says he'll bring back inorganic rubbish collections if elected mayor of Auckland.

The practice, in which communities would dump their unwanted items on the street to be picked up by the Council on a given day, was binned by current mayor Phil Goff. 

Aucklanders now have to book collections on an individual basis, and get just one free collection a year of no more than one cubic metre.

Goff also plans to reduce the city's weekly rubbish collection to once a fortnight.

On Wednesday, Tamihere told The AM Show he intends to bring back communal waste uplifts. 

"One man's rubbish is another man's treasure. It's one of the greatest ways of recycling without a major cost."

He says failure to provide a service results in illegal dumping, when people who can't afford to pay for waste collection end up leaving items on the street in the hopes others will pick them up, often leading to vermin infestations. 

Tamihere says the current policy is "stupidity" that won't happen under his mayoralty. 

"We've got to move away from landfills and trucks going all over the shop. The waste to energy programme we're wanting to bring in is 50 percent of Sweden's winter energy supply through, in effect, burning its waste."

He denies he's "gone green", saying he's just got smarter about waste.

"We can all get smarter about the way in which we get rid of our waste, drop the traffic going all around our roads to the landfills and drop the tonnage going into landfills."

Tamihere doesn't yet know how much it would cost to bring back Auckland's inorganic collections, but says it would be worth it. 

"If it's the amount of money you're spending on picking up illegally dumped rubbish and all the adverse impacts... it would square itself off."

In addition to his promise of no rates increases for three years, which has been met with scepticism from experts, Tamihere says no user charges will go up under his mayoralty although there may be a congestion charge in an attempt to shift trucks off the road at peak times.

He's also vowed to "negotiate away" a fuel tax for Aucklanders.

"You've got to assert financial rigour in the city. We've got a bloated bureaucracy and the only way to bring them to heel is to set a target, and a strong one."

He says local government officials from the likes of Auckland Transport have come out in support of Goff because "they know they've been ineffective and wasted money" and don't want to face consequences. 

"We're going to clean the house. That's what's going to happen."