Air qual­ity not im­prov­ing

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

It is time to clean up or pay up for wood burn­ers in Toko­roa.

De­spite con­tin­ued fund­ing of air qual­ity schemes from both the South Waikato District Coun­cil and the Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil, the air qual­ity in Toko­roa is not im­prov­ing, in fact it is get­ting worse.

Al­ready this win­ter Toko­roa has had nine ex­ceedances in PM10 lev­els com­pared to last year’s 10 in to­tal over the whole of win­ter, coun­cil said.

Group man­ager reg­u­la­tory, Sharon Robin­son said the big­gest con­tribut­ing fac­tor to this prob­lem is the burn­ing of wet wood.

‘‘Burn­ing other ma­te­ri­als, such as plas­tic bot­tles, is also harm­ful to the en­vi­ron­ment and they should be re­cy­cled.’’

There are two schemes to help re­place non-com­pli­ant burn­ers with new en­ergy ef­fi­cient prod­ucts: Warm Homes Clean Air and Heat Swap.

‘‘Our com­mu­nity does not want to see the Clean Air By­law back on the ta­ble, but if things don’t im­prove, it may be the coun­cil’s only op­tion.’’ Robin­son said.

The coun­cil will be hold­ing an Air Qual­ity Week from July 21 to 26.

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