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AB Lime, near Winton, has been allowed to operate without any limit on the amount of waste it can...
AB Lime, near Winton, has been allowed to operate without any limit on the amount of waste it can take for the next 25 years. Photo: Google Maps
Even after a central Southland mega-landfill’s expansion was approved last week, the Dunedin City Council will not say if the regional waste facility will be a factor in its own uncertain plans for the city’s rubbish.

AB Lime, near Winton, has been given consent to operate, without any limit on the amount of waste it can take for the next 25 years.

Similar to the Kate Valley Landfill, in Canterbury, waste will be taken to the central Southland landfill from all over the southern South Island.

Meanwhile, the Dunedin council’s application for a new landfill near Brighton remains on hold nearly a year after it was lodged with the Otago Regional Council. The consent for its present Green Island landfill is set to expire in 2023.

Council waste and environmental solutions group manager Chris Henderson said options for exporting waste, the associated financial impacts and the immediate future of the Green Island landfill were all still being considered.

The council was not yet in a position to comment further, he said.

A date for the city council's response to a second request for additional information on the Brighton landfill consent application had not been set.

But a consent application for the Green Island landfill was required before the expiry of current consents in 2023, irrespective of whether the landfill was closed or remained in use, Mr Henderson said.

Investigations into the potential remaining life of the Green Island landfill were ongoing and no decision had been made on whether the council would seek to extend its operational use, he said.


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DCC cannot claim there is a climate emergency and then transport the cities waste 200km to a landfill. It would prove their emergency is a fraud.

The DCC management and councilors are simply weak. They know Dunedin should handle its own rubbish. They know trucking rubbish 200km is bad for the roads, other road users and the environment.
But they are simply too weak to get off their bellies and make a decision. Despite lots of effort and millions of ratepayers money, there is still a need to dispose of some waste. That is a fact.
I know the greens hate dealing with facts, but at some point they need to acknowledge reality and simply commit to a new Dunedin tip. And somewhere within Dunedins boundaries.

Yes someone will be annoyed that a tip will be built near them. Stiff. You can't please everyone all the time. But the greens by their timid inaction aren't pleasing anyone. No surprise they don't deserve to be running the DCC or anywhere else. There is more to governing than closing roads and building bike lanes.

Best practice for landfills is now for large regional facilities (for example, the Kate Valley facility north of Christchurch takes virtually all of Canterbury's rubbish). Gone are the days when rubbish could be thrown in any old hole in the ground. Modern landfills are now quite sophisticated and cost tens of millions of dollars to prepare. From an environmental perspective, it is far preferable to have one large landfill than many smaller ones. The environmental impact of building and operating several smaller landfills would far exceed the impact of transporting rubbish to a regional facility, a point which seems to concern other commenters. This particular site is already a landfill and complies with environmental requirements so is not a "from scratch" undertaking. The recent consent process was to simply increase the quantity of material that it is already receiving. If the DCC can negotiate a commercially acceptable agreement to use the Winton landfill then that is a far, far more sensible option (both environmentally and financially) than developing a new landfill in Dunedin.

Fair appraisal, but you didnt mention the climate emergency and the huge amount of road miles per year. This green council is yet to put 2 and 2 together and rely on ideology. Sadly, they are dreamers and will prove themselves to be hypocrites.

Yes he did:

"The environmental impact of building and operating several smaller landfills would far exceed the impact of transporting rubbish to a regional facility, a point which seems to concern other commenters."

Pretty clear statement that the poster sees a smaller environmental impact by trucking to Winton that developing new landfills.

Let's set aside the issues of methane emissions and leachate from landfills and focus purely on exhaust emissions, which is what the poster is concerned with. Let's say several new smaller landfills are created around Otago/Southland over the next decade. Each of these projects would involve massive earthworks to prepare the site. Earthmoving machinery produce quite high levels of emissions. Interestingly, the required emission standards for earthmovers currently lags a couple of generations behind the standards for road trucks. Then, once built, each landfill would require a landfill compactor, at least one (possibly a couple) of wheeled loaders, perhaps a tracked loader as well, and at least one excavator. The Winton landfill is not only already built, it will only require one set of machines to operate. Suddenly, those trucks transporting the rubbish to the super-landfill (especially if the councils require, as a condition of contract, for the trucks to be compliant with the most stringent emissions standards) look quite environmentally friendly.

Then lets see the GREEN DCC be truly inspirational and planning for the future. If it's going to be the Winton landfill, instead of 'trucking' why not have Hillside manufacture specially designed rail wagons to deliver refuse to Winton, and return with hydrogen tanks from Tiwai? Surely that could be achieved within 5 years? Makes no sense having empty trucks returning from Winton. That's 400km for every truck, that's crazy talk, not to mention the man hours, tyre wear, fuel burn and maintainance costs. Just think of all those oil changes! Are we REALLY going to do that for the next 25 years? As consumers, we would really have to question our purchases and the motive behind everything marketed at there's a thought. Let's see some effective leadership, petitioning and lobbying for the potential Tiwai Hydrogen plant, If we committed to alternative fuel as a viable public investment we may open the doors to some serious financial and enviromental benefits. Let's see some political cooperation and some critical thinking. Here's an opportunity to lead the way.......
OR maybe Hawkins and a galant crew of greenies could create a multi cycle to transport waste instead?

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