In true corporate style Midwest Disposals has (quite legitimately & legally) managed to sidestep most of the very issues the average person would be concerned enough about to make a submission. With just two weeks to wade through 1500 pages of legalese, after the announced application for consent to quadruple in size back in May 2014, 60+ people braved it and did just that. However (and knowing this in advance would’ve been useful) any concerns about increased truck traffic, property values and the leachate disposal … well they’re the responsibility of, not Midwest, but the NZ Transport Agency, RDC and Horizons… and RDC incidentally have already failed to keep consistent and accurate records about leachate volumes being dumped in the Waste Water Treatment Plant … and Horizons appear to have done little about that besides slap them on the wrist with a wet bus ticket. (In case you missed that item of news it appeared a few days before Christmas in the Wanganui Chronicle). Close examination of the consent compliance forms reveals regular non compliance with little if anything in the way of consequences. So neither of these organizations it appears, is doing their job properly.
Regarding the submission issues, the operative words are … (this from your RDC & Horizons representatives)… ‘maybe’ and ‘might’. On the important issue of property prices, “the RMA focuses on the direct effects of the proposal which, depending on their severity, may in turn affect property prices, therefore devaluation of property is a secondary effect”.
Regarding the nuisance of truck traffic through town, Midwest says it is not their responsibility what route the trucks use. It is stated that this is the heavy traffic bypass. Perhaps this needs to be reviewed then. No doubt when that route was originally designated as such, the volume would have been a lot less. Given a member of the public has counted a conservative estimate of 35 trucks in a morning, surely an alternative rural route could now be designated for heavy traffic that is headed to the landfill.
There was also complaint about the refuse dropping off trucks. It’s reported that this is the responsibility of the Transport Agency … so people need now to be vigilant in reporting, until this is satisfactorily dealt with.
As to volume of truck traffic, a trucking report last year (links in updates here) assured the public they didn’t anticipate an increase … even though the rubbish volume was set to quadruple. I wonder how this will be achieved?
As to animal deaths. Midwest is agreeing to pay for deaths of stock for which refuse has been proven to be the cause via an autopsy. Should there be no proof arising from the autopsy then the farmer pays. So it is a matter of gambling with that cost and for many I suspect it will be more cost effective to flag the autopsy and write it off as a loss.
Midwest also intends to make a formal agreement with the RDC regarding leachate disposal instead of the former ‘gentleman’s agreement’. Which is what should have been done in the first place. For 8+ years, who knows how much leachate has gone into the waterways that has been beyond acceptable levels? We may never know. Is anybody at all concerned?
Submissions will be heard in Feilding this week, 17 February 2015. Information can be viewed on Horizons Website HERE
You can read the Chronicle article HERE