Luggate residents have requested more information on a
proposal to establish New Zealand's first solar drying
facility for turning sludge into fertiliser near the town.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council announced last week a
proposed partnership with Fulton Hogan to use a natural
system for processing sludge from Wanaka's Project Pure
wastewater plant, as an alternative to landfill disposal.
The sludge would be dried at a facility built and operated by
Fulton Hogan at the corner of McKay Rd and State Highway 8A,
before being ploughed into the soil at neighbouring
The proposal, dubbed ''Project Groundswell'', was discussed
at a public drop-in session last Thursday, which was attended
by 23 residents from the Luggate area.
QLDC infrastructure and assets general manager Erik Barnes
said the community had asked ''lots of good, pertinent
questions'' about the system, which would use German
WendeWolf technology popular overseas.
The main issues raised by residents related to how the smell
would be addressed, why the Luggate location had been
selected and whether the end product was safe to apply to the
''We've endeavoured to take those questions on board and then
come back to them with more information,'' Mr Barnes said.
''They just want to understand it better, then I think they
can make an informed decision.
''We don't want to do something ... that there's an
overwhelming push against ... Our intention is to do
something that's good for the district and for New Zealand.''
Mr Barnes said although New Zealand was leading the world in
terms of the research and science behind reusing bio-solids,
''we're one of the few countries in the world that don't use