Reducing landfill size not answer, DCC told

Scott Weatherall
Community opposition to the Dunedin City Council’s proposed Smooth Hill landfill site near Brighton continues, despite moves to halve its size.

Saddle Hill Community Board chairman Scott Weatherall again urged the city to look for a shorter-term solution for the city’s waste until another landfill site could be identified.

"The decision to choose Smooth Hill was made nearly 30 years ago, and people are seeing the move to downsize as an acknowledgement from council that they are not doing the right thing," Mr Weatherall said.

"There is still time to put this site and project on hold and look for a better alternative," he said.

‘Surely there are better options than possibly having leachate reaching Brighton Beach."

The Saddle Hill Community Board had asked the council for an update at its meeting today, but no staff member was able to attend.

"The board are in agreement, and so is the community, that we are asking the council to take a pause.

"If we can get it right, a delayed process is better than getting it wrong."

There had been growing awareness among the local community about the issues with the proposed Smooth Hill landfill, and people were "not happy", he said.

"People are asking, how is this allowed to happen?"

The Dunedin City Council lodged resource consent applications with the Otago Regional Council in August 2020, but more information was called for.

Last week, the city council proposed reducing the size of the planned landfill from 44.5ha to 18.6ha, reducing its waste capacity from 6.2million cubic metres to less than 3millioncum.

The Otago Regional Council is still reviewing the proposal, and has yet to announce a decision.

The Saddle Hill Community Board would continue to monitor the situation and to urge the council to reconsider and make others plans, Mr Weatherall said.

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