Fox River landfill to be cleared away

Cleaners picking up rubbish that spilled out of the old Fox landfill. Photo: Owen Kilgour via RNZ
Cleaners picking up rubbish that spilled out of the old Fox landfill. Photo: Owen Kilgour via RNZ
An old landfill that spewed rubbish along 100 kilometres of West Coast coastline will be removed, starting next week.

Heavy rainfall and floods opened up the legacy landfill on the banks of the Fox River in 2019, sending thousands of kilograms of waste along the river through Westland Tai Poutini National Park, and out to beaches and the Tasman Sea.

Clean-up to remove the landfill is to begin next week.

Heavy rain in March 2019 washed out the disused landfill, scattering rubbish downstream through the national park and into the Tasman Sea.

At the time nearly 1000 volunteers helped with the clean-up.

Rosco Contractors has been hired to remove the old dump completely. Owner Rosco Moore said a few months ago they built a large wall around the dump to secure it.

"We used a 90 tonne digger to build the rock wall - some of the rocks are 100 tonnes each, so that's stopped more rubbish coming away.

"From Monday we will go in, move some of that rock wall, and start removing the 14,000 cubic metres of rubbish," he said.

It will be put on to trucks and moved to a landfill in Hokitika.

"The whole thing will be removed, and then it will be refilled and planted again."

The government has put $3.3 million into the project from its 'Shovel Ready' grants, designed to help stimulate the Covid-stricken economy, and create work.

The clean-up job was expected to be finished by the end of March.






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