News & Events

Council services increase under alert level 3

Friday April 24 2020

Following a concentrated review of staff and public health and safety requirements under the Covid-19 alert level 3 guidelines, Palmerston North City Council has decided on how the following services will operate.

Recycling and waste operations to revert to normal services

All of Palmerston North’s recycling, e-waste and green waste services will resume next week under alert level 3.

Palmerston North City Council Chief Executive, Heather Shotter says the waste team has worked hard to ensure recycling can be safely sorted from Wednesday 29 April.

“We know how important it is to our residents that we resume all 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 one-metre physical distancing guideline allowed in workplaces, and by wearing additional safety gear.”

Ms Shotter says recycling will begin being sorted on Wednesday, which means residents need to make sure that any rubbish is removed from their Council recycling wheelie bin before it’s collected next week.

Like always, all plastic, metal and glass need to be washed thoroughly under hot water.

Recycling drop-off points at Awapuni, Ferguson St and Ashhurst will reopen on Tuesday 28 April, and the Ashhurst Transfer Station will reopen for rubbish and green waste from Saturday 2 May.

Green waste drop-off services will be available at Awapuni from Tuesday.

Eftpos will be the only payment method available for residents paying to drop off green waste or e-waste. As these people will be in close contact with our staff, they will be required to give their contact details for our Covid-19 contact register.

Council's commercial recycling and food waste service will resume for businesses operating under alert level 3.

The privately-owned Matthews Ave Transfer Station will also be open from Tuesday for people to take any large quantities of rubbish they’ve amassed during the lockdown.

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

“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 on Tuesday morning as you may be in for a long wait."

Ms Shotter says 85 per cent of Palmerston North’s recycling is recycled within New Zealand.

“Resuming safe recycling in Palmerston North means we can look after our environment, but also contribute to wider national employment and therefore, the New Zealand economy."

Some parks and walkways to remain closed

Under alert level 3, people can travel up to 45 minutes for exercise. However, we’ve made the tough decision to keep Gordon Kear Forest, Arapuke Mountain Bike Park and the Sledge Track closed.

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.

All play equipment remains off limits.

Building and planning services are increasing capacity

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 from Tuesday 28 April.

Ms Shotter says Council staff are increasing their hours and engaging contractors to help our construction and development sector break ground on new projects as quickly as possible.

“We know we have a vital role to play in helping the sector get back on its feet, so we’re making every effort to increase our capacity and capability in this area.”

Most previously cancelled building inspections have already been rescheduled. Staff are implementing a range of safety measures to ensure physical distancing is maintained onsite.

Animal control and noise control return to full service

Environmental Protection Services such as animal and noise control will return to full services under alert level 3.

This means residents will be able to report roaming dogs to Council, and the pound will be operating again under strict health and safety precautions.

Parking services not resuming at alert level 3

Parking services will not be resuming at Alert 3 Level and residents can continue parking in the CBD without payment, and without incurring a fine.

Welfare assistance to continue

Council’s Emergency Operations Centre welfare team is continuing to coordinate access to urgently needed household goods and services, as well as connecting vulnerable people to support networks. Anyone requiring assistance can call 0800 725 678 or register online.

Libraries stay digital

At Covid-19 alert level 3 there won’t be any changes to how our libraries are operating. Our Blueprint Makerspace and Youth Space will also remain closed.

Residents will still be able to access the full range of digital resources available, and should continue to hold onto any books they have checked out from before lockdown. We’ll continue to waive any fees and current fines will not accrue.