Transfer of rubbish
A decision to build a new landfill hole in the South Waikato has been revoked after district councillors were asked to re-look at the decision this month.
Mayor Neil Sinclair said the decision to build a new cell once the current one reaches full capacity allowed by the resource consent would ‘‘create a burden’’ for ratepayers.
He said with the decreasing amount of waste being dumped, a new site would be costly.
Tokoroa landfill received 5200 tonnes of waste last year – less than half that dumped in 2008/09.
Chief executive Craig Hobbs said if the amount dumped went under 4000 tonnes per year, it would be more viable to transfer from Croad Place.
He said with the population decline and an increase in recycling by the South Waikato community, that figure was expected to drop even further.
Councillor Thomas Lee, who moved the original motion at the meeting on January 22, said he did so under the understanding it would be the cheapest option for the district’s ratepayers.
He said he did not like the idea of relying on outside sources to transport the waste.
‘‘If our waste will still go to our cell, then I’d be happy to rescind my previous motion.’’
Strategic policy planner Sarah Flavall pointed out that there would come a point when Tokoroa’s landfill would be full, and questioned Lee on what he would want done then.
‘‘What is the lowest risk? Build another cell or transfer it out of the district?’’ Flavall said.
The estimated cost of a new landfill cell is $2.4 million, with the new consent application another $272,000 on top of that.
‘‘And that’s not a guarantee,’’ she said.
Deputy chief executive Ben Smit said choosing to transfer out of the district left options open.
He said if transport costs skyrocketed then it would be likely that competition would increase to drive those prices down again. And if not, the option to build another cell would still be there, he said.
Councillor Bill Machin said his only other concern was the Croad Place location.
‘‘I find it hard to believe there will be no smell if people are dropping off raw rubbish.’’
The council passed the resolution to rescind the previous motion and pass the recom- mended Option 2 – use of the current cell until at maximum capacity allowed by the resource consent after which waste will be transported to an external landfill, with Croad Place as a transfer station. Councillors agreed this was the preferred option until the review of the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan and the 2018-28 LTP addressed the issue.
DUMPED: The South Waikato District Council decided the Croad Place recycling site has the potential to become a transfer centre.