Moving about the town and district one often hears anecdotal feedback on how the landfill and its activities are affecting people. If you have any feedback to offer about how the landfill affects you or about any attempts you’ve made to address this, please contact me by using the contact form on the contact page.
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The Toilet Bowl of the Rangitikei
I drove past the landfill myself yesterday … the locals’ predictions of toilet bowl certainly resonate, accompanied by prolific heavy traffic transporting refuse to the tip and squawking seagulls overhead. I made the mistake of opening my car windows and caught the foul smell that emanates from there. Toilet bowl does spring to mind. I wonder how locals put up with it and can see why it’s wafting over and being smelt in town. Still it’s stiff cheese as the saying goes. Small price to pay for that really good deal we’re apparently getting at the landfill. Whatever that was? And it’ll only be for another fifty years.
Marton Residents Report Wind from the Bonny Glen Landfill Direction Smells ‘Obnoxious … like sewage’ 10/11/15 – 19/1/16
I was contacted this week by residents who live in town reporting the foul smell blowing from the direction of the Bonny Glen landfill situated some 6-7 km away. This is in addition to the smell of passing trucks which, as previously reported, drop bits of refuse on the roads. Two of those people who gave feedback on the truck situation had this to say:
- truck numbers are static but there are bigger and heavier truck and trailer units
- 3 went past within 5 minutes this morning at 7.10am, empty, and making a really loud crash sound as they hit the bumps and manhole covers outside our house, shaking the house
- The tankers taking leachate to the wastewater treatment start about 7-7.30am and continue until approx. 4pm, making about 7-8 round trips per day (also report 12 pday). However since this report of last year, these days the leachate tanker is seldom seen (so have they changed routes?)
- How that is affecting the plant is unknown, but I understand that RDC are to spend upwards of $1million to upgrade to cope with this leachate, a good example of the ratepayers subsidising a corporation? (Yes indeed)
- Doors and windows are warped and sticking due it’s believed, to the continual earthquake-like house shaking that goes on with the passing trucks
Is the leachate tanker now taking a different route given it’s not seen any more? At late last year’s reporting by community members the leachate tanker count was 12 sometimes 13 trips on average per day. This is a considerably higher than the mere 2 to 3 figure bandied around last year and signals cause for concern at the volume being dumped in the WWTP, given the plant was not coping with 2-3 loads. Readers may recall the submission made to the consent hearings last year (2015) by a (then) local man, Hamish Allan, on the issue of leachate and the Tutaenui Stream’s pollution. At the time he was a member of the Marton Community Committee (MCC – a counduit for action between the public and Council) he said that:
“…a member of the public came to us because they were concerned about ‘Enviro Waste’ trucks disposing of industrial waste from Bonny Glen down a manhole in ‘the junction’. “
Mr Allan outlines the difficult process he experienced in getting any action on this issue. He said that: “…by bringing up the issue of the leachate in our recommendations we were genuinely endeavouring to be an effective liason with the community so…
What could be a relatively simple & democratic process – providing straight-forward answers to straight-forward questions – became an opportunity for Council to tell us off about small-scale procedural matters, with only one councillor voting against the motion, to her eternal credit.
What’s more, the minutes of the Community Committee meeting in February 2012 detail Council’s deliberate attempt at avoiding any direct response to the issue of the leachate…”
… they simply refused to accept the recommendation of the MCC! You can read the submission yourself here. You will find there also, full details of the ongoing and shocking non compliance issue regarding the pollution of the Tutaenui Stream.
In conclusion, the MCC appears to be giving merely the illusion of a democratic process. Clearly from Mr Allan’s report of 2011 and 12 events, that avenue for addressing pertinent issues didn’t work. I attended one of the MCC meetings last year to ask when an in-stream biota survey would be conducted to assess the aquatic life of the stream. They should be made three yearly according to the consent, however in Mr Allan’s submission he points out that there hadn’t been one since 2002. At the meeting I attended the Mayor Andy Watson was present and spoke to my question. There was no date given for a survey nor any indication there would even be one. In answer to my query, what action should I take as a member of the public or words to that effect, I was advised to email the Council (ie the Mayor and Councilors). I did that subsequently and have heard NOTHING since.
Clearly the democratic processes within your democratically elected council are not working in favour of you the public who incidentally are funding the whole machine with your rates. Whom it does appear to be working for are the Bonny Glen Landfill owners, Midwest Disposals.
Concerns Over Trucks, Noise, Leachate and Smell 4/7/15
4 July 2015 I was contacted today with further feedback on the trucking situation in Marton. Here is their extensive list of concerns:
- “I am appalled at the number of rubbish trucks passing our house 6 days per week, and the noise and vibration they make
- In addition, the number of tankers taking leachate to the Marton Wastewater Treatment Plant is far in excess of claims made by Mid-west Disposals. The number of trips per day is 7 at least, and some days when 2 tankers are used, a total of at least 12 loads are dumped in the Marton treatment plant
- I fear that this amount of leachate will cause major problems and poisoning of the rivers that receive outflow
- I fear it will become a cost to the ratepayers of Marton while the company responsible gets away with not paying for the damage
- I believe Horizons should be checking and stopping this pollution
- This landfill must be opposed and shut down as it is a major pollutant of our region and
- we can smell the tip at times when the wind blows from that direction, 6-7 kms away.
No clean and green Rangitikei, just dirty smelly and polluted. It is a disgrace”.
Trucks: Noise, Speed & Roads 18/6/15
18 June 2015 This week a local person contacted the site expressing concern with the trucking to Bonny Glen. Here is a summary of those concerns:
- I am beginning to be more concerned over the number of trucks going along Wanganui Road
- Speed is a BIG Issue… speed’s always been an issue but there is more noise and speed than ever before… seems to me that something like a road hump needs to be put in place to slow them down because road signs certainly don’t
- The noise of the trucks has increased, one hears them bumping over who knows what
- Trucks are entering Marton, and leaving in the small hours
- The state of the road has deteriorated and will get worse I am sure
- Is there another route that could be used? If it must continue?
These are similar concerns to those already expressed by other locals. I’ve also been told by another person that their house literally shakes and rattles like an earthquake when these trucks roll by.
Backtrack to mid 2014 and we had reports saying that if consents were granted to quadruple the landfill size the trucks are unlikely to be more numerous on a daily basis (Feilding Herald, 14 Aug 2014, page 7) … now the consents are granted and the landfill is set officially to almost quintuple we are told there WILL be an increase of trucks from an average of 42 to 73 per day (Manawatu Standard, 12 June, 2015).
Note, I have also reported on the site other expressions of concern over trucking noise and speed. A truck every ten minutes (35 in a morning – modest estimate) and at very early hours. This person reported the dropping refuse along the way, and odour. This person is not alone in their concerns saying other neighbours are also fed up with the trucks.
No records kept of leachate in water
“But the Opus report said leachate tanker logs and leachate strength data from between 2006 and 2013 could not be provided.”
An article in the Wanganui Chronicle dated 20 December reveals some alarming detail about the leachate levels and lack of reporting and concludes with a public comment that indicates by their observations there are three trucks daily contrary to the one every two days cited in the article.
The Trucks 18/12/14
What the person noted of concern is “the smell (one company’s trucks in particular smell), the dropping or flying off of bits of refuse, their excessive speed at times and their noise.”
18 Dec 2014 I had a conversation with a person recently in Marton about the truck traffic to the Bonny Glen landfill. I was told that on an average morning (this person counts) there could be as many as 35 trucks passing to or from the tip. Now that’s a modest estimate I was told as there are other trucks coming and going which look like dump trucks heading to Bonny Glen but may not be so they were excluded in the count. What the person noted of concern is the smell (one company’s trucks in particular smell), the dropping or flying off of bits of refuse, their excessive speed at times and their noise. They can be heard as early as 5:30am, waking the household. The day 35 trucks were logged began at approximately 8am and finished around 1:30pm, although trucks were still passing beyond that time, they just stopped counting. This then averages one every 10 or so minutes! This is on one of the routes, a street that is in town and well populated. Bear in mind … the consent application sees the volume of rubbish quadrupling … do the sums. Not pretty for those on the truck routes.
So the official report initially wanted us to believe there would be no increase in trucking even though the rubbish was quadrupling in volume. This was so you, the public, would not make a fuss before the consents were granted. Now we are told it will almost double which those of us who did the sums knew anyway. Interesting isn’t it, the tales they spin?
Make your Concerns Known:
If you’re concerned in any way with the state of affairs concerning truck nuisance, put them in writing to the RDC Mayor and Crs, and/or make them known at the Community Committee meetings that meet every second Wednesday of the month. Details on the RDC website. This forum is a conduit between community and Council.
It would be good to independently test our local water for leachate ingredients. The cost however is from $50 upwards depending on the number of chemicals named. Very cost prohibitive. If you feel inclined to donate anything towards the cost of an analysis of our local stream water in one of NZ’s testing labs, please contact me. (This site is a free WordPress site – it produces no revenue for the author, and any ads on it are placed there by WordPress because it is free).