Industry group says landfill sustainable

Southland's key landfill deserves support in its consent renewal attempt, an industry association says.

AB Lime, a quarry and landfill near Winton, is the focus of an environment hearing next month.

It has asked to remove the present waste cap of 100,000tonnes a year and to formalise its ability to accept emergency waste.

The landfill footprint and overall capacity would not change.

However, it has drawn opposition from the surrounding community after the consent application was limited notified to the public.

Aggregate and Quarry Association chief executive Wayne Scott said the landfill operated to high standards, including tapping into gas generated by waste material to dry quarried limestone.

Waste from outside the region continued to be accepted, and the company’s application states the main objective is to future-proof the landfill so it is well positioned to accept waste from a wider range of locations.

"Importantly, AB Lime would like to provide for the inclusion of waste acceptance in emergency response scenarios as New Zealand works towards having fewer but better managed landfills."

Mr Scott said AB Lime ran a well-performing integrated landfill, lime quarry and dairy farm as well as developing a wetland.

He said it had such extensive plantings across more than 60ha of native bush that it had created its own native plant nursery.

"This is a quarrying company that is showing its commitment to sustainability and that deserves to be applauded.

"The generation of energy from the landfill to dry quarried products has greatly reduced its use of coal and that contributes to a great example of a circular economy scenario."

Mr Scott said that as an industry organisation, the association supported initiatives to develop circular economy objectives and AB Lime was providing a "stellar" example to the quarrying sector.

"While those local residents objecting have a right to be heard, New Zealand Inc is the beneficiary of this landfill proposal."

The hearing will be held from May 17 to 21, at the Invercargill Workingmen’s Club, and will take into account the application, the seven submissions received, associated evidence and Environment Southland’s report on the application.

laura.smith@odt.co.nz

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