Dunedin may have to export rubbish

The cost of taking rubbish to the landfill is set to rise by 25%.
Photo: ODT files
The Dunedin City Council is drawing up a contingency plan to export the city's rubbish to other centres, as delays replacing the existing Green Island landfill prompt criticism from a city councillor.

Cr Jim O'Malley
Cr Jim O'Malley
Cr Jim O'Malley, deputy chairman of the council's infrastructure services and networks committee, told the Otago Daily Times the council had been too slow in planning the replacement of the Green Island landfill.

His criticism came as the landfill's existing consent approached expiration in 2023, about the same time it was expected to reach capacity.

The council's preferred replacement, a Smooth Hill site between Brighton and Dunedin airport, would take up to a decade to become operational.

The council's Waste Futures project included a detailed business case for changes to rubbish collection in the city, including a new landfill at Smooth Hill.

However, a report going to councillors next week warned the new facility was "unlikely" to be ready before the existing landfill's consents expired.

That meant the council had to plan to extend the Green Island landfill's consents beyond 2023, possibly by up to five years.

The council also had to "develop contingency plans for exporting waste out of the district if required", the report said.

Council waste and environmental solutions group manager Chris Henderson said back-up plans were needed "so that we don't end up with our backs against the wall".

However, trucking material out of Dunedin was "not a very palatable option", he said.

"I would like to avoid it at all costs ... there's the transport costs, there's the carbon impacts, and we'd also possibly be at the mercy of wherever it was going."

Cr O'Malley raised the issue at last week's annual plan meeting, questioning why no significant funding for Smooth Hill was in the council's long-term budget.

An earlier report had suggested development costs could hit $30million, but Cr O'Malley believed the bill could top $100million.

The issue had to be at the top of council's waste agenda, but councillors also needed more input into draft council work programmes before budget hearings, he believed.

Even if the Otago Regional Council agreed to extend Green Island's consent, it was unlikely to go beyond 2025, making the timeframe for Smooth Hill "very tight", he said.

"That gives us six years," he said.

A report in October last year, outlining the Waste Futures project, said the situation was "urgent".

Although Green Island's existing consents expire in 2023, demolition projects such as removing the former Cadbury factory and old Dunedin Hospital complex could fill the landfill before then.

The council had been investigating a new landfill for 30 years, but "a lack of progress ... means there is now an urgency to accelerate and prioritise this project".

Cr O'Malley agreed, saying the work "could have been done better".

Mr Henderson said there was "no getting round the fact" the project was behind schedule, but that was being addressed.

"That's part of the reason for me being in the role that I am now, to make sure it actually gets the attention it deserves."

Changes to the city's kerbside collection system, the move to a "circular economy" for rubbish and new product stewardship rules all needed to be planned, as they would influence the design of a new landfill.

"Until those decisions are made, and until we actually have some good, robust financial analysis, we can't just put a guess in [the budget]."


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Smooth Hill, owned by Doug Hall isn't it?
it's no wonder the council didn't move on this years ago, as after their spat with him, they couldn't go cap in hand to buy his land off him to make a start on the new dump, people would connect too many dots.
Not pick this up ODT?

"The council had been investigating a new landfill for 30 years, but "a lack of progress ......""
The council has been in the headlights of this slow motion train wreck for decades and still nothing substantial achieved. Another case of core infrastructure neglected. If they put as much energy and expediency into this, as they have on pushing a vanity bridge to nowhere, it could have been sorted by now.

DCC to fill the landfill at Green island with waste from the Cadburys demolition is ludacrous considering the is another site that could take the demolition waste at Burnside.

But we have a scale model of the bridge to nowhere at the entrance to the Civic Centre. I guess attention to basic infrastructure does't add to the "Dunedin vibe", even if it does stop the "Dunedin buzz" of flies zipping past our ears.

Thank you Jim O'Malley for keeping your eye on the ball.

Here comes another rates increase - Oh please don't let these amateur desk jockeys decide where the new Dump will be. Between Brighton and Dunedin airport, to me it rings alarm bells with seagulls and planes.. Why is the DCC even worried about the current Dump, How about the DCC create another drop off site in the city a drive up type place like Green island where Dunedin people drop it off and the DCC staffed transport it to the new bigger dump. Make it free for Dunedin's people, not companies. Continue to let the current dump managed by the same company but charge them a high value fee for any rubbish dropped off at new site by them Any changes to the city's kerbside collection you have to make it easy for people and not have dumb little bins for glass collection,- it is pathetic like NCC as it is. Get every house 3 wheelie bins covered by household rates, commercial companies made to use current contractor. What would a large furnace cost with scrubbers and possible turbine for power?

Councils are supposed to handle a couple of basic things: Rubbish and roads.
DCC Council staff and councilor have had a myopic focus on bike tracks and removal of cars over the past 5 years.
We now see a Mayor who wants to play politics on the national stage and build fancy bridges to leave a legacy. We all know what Culls legacy is. Flooded South Dunedin streets and no where to dispose of rubbish. Mr Cull and Dr Bidrose both need to spend a lot more time in Dunedin attending to the basics. If they aren't up to looking after Dunedin they need to leave.

I would say in the end if it is exported it will be burnt /so burn the stuff here..... but we wont as trendy greens / have halted new Zealand/

I've suggested to the DCC in the past looking at a waste fueled generation plant, sited somewhere along the under utilised main rail line and charge to take waste from either end of the south island.

And business as usual is trashing NZ.

The exports would be within NZ, with the consent of some other put upon towns.

Trucking, as the man says, will burn excess carbon.

Hawking our stuff around is unlikely, this is a nudge for a local landfill post Green Island.

As for cc, the great grandchildren will be left with surface waters underfoot.

We can only protect flora and fauna.

Who do you like, ie who would get NZ going and how?

It's easy to marginalise politics you don't like.

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