Category Archives: Midwest Disposals

A Rangitikei observer reports seven to twelve truckloads of leachate per day for the WWTP

The Marton Waste Water Treatment Plant is up for a multi million dollar upgrade as reported recently in the Wanganui Chronicle. It was noted in the article (and locals of course know this) that “…a contributor to the current plant’s failure was leachate (landfill run-off), which was trucked to the treatment plant from Bonny Glen landfill..” 

According to RDC’s own report of December 2014 “Marton’s WWTP is configured as a domestic/municipal wastewater treatment based upon pond technology. It is not well suited to provide high levels of treatment to significant industrial trade wastes of a complex nature”. 

The Chronicle’s article goes on to say that … “The landfill’s owners are now working on pre-treating the leachate and the council’s utility assets manager Joanna Saywell suggested Midwest may be able to fully treat the leachate within a few years.”

The operative words here are “working on”, “may be able to” and “a few years”. This non specificity will allow all parties concerned to drag their feet for quite possibly another decade or so  given the wheels of bureaucracy turn very slowly. Note they have dragged their feet for one decade already whilst polluting the Tutaenui stream to who knows what extent … as  deputy Mayor “Mr McManaway said it was a worry that records of what was being put through the system [that he serves] had not been maintained.” (Wanganui Chronicle 20/12/14). In fact, with 10 of the required 36 reports over nine years either missing or non-existent, and a decade of largely non-compliance, going by the water testing that did occur,  we can fairly safely conclude it’s in a bad state. And the in-stream biota surveys? There’s been none since 2002 … the consent requires one every three years so four are missing. (These surveys tell us the state of the stream’s aquatic life, if any). My two queries in March to RDC asking if there’d be another one hasn’t garnered a response yet.

In December 2014, pre-consent stage, the official reporting of leachate-truck activity was one load every two days:

“Leachate is put into the waste water system about every second day under a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between the council and Bonny Glen operators Midwest Disposals Ltd… Some days leachate can contribute almost 70 per cent of the ammoniacal nitrogen levels which regularly exceed consented levels..”  Wanganui Chronicle 20/12/14

A person on the truck route commented on the article however that they were seeing the leachate truck go past at least three times a day. A conservative estimate then would make that one round trip a day at least.

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Waste water treatment in Marton

Fast forward eight months. The consents are granted to quintuple the landfill size (not quadruple as previously broadcast) with a now increased volume of leachate due to the extended capacity of the landfill. It’s been observed by a local who lives on the truck route, that the leachate tanker is making seven round trips a day on average, and often there are two tankers working bringing that up to twelve round trips a day, six days per week.  So we have progressed from an estimated six truckloads per week to a conservative forty two to seventy two per week. That is quite some increase.

We are certainly going to be needing that multi million dollar upgrade and let’s keep our fingers crossed that Midwest “may be able” to treat the leachate themselves “within a few years” as they’re saying. As Nigel Belsham’s quoted in the article, “… if it was trade waste causing problems to the plant and not domestic waste, the bill should be picked up by industry.” 

But then we do have a gentleman’s agreement that it appears, at all costs must be kept. Hopefully RDC will see their way clear to getting an in-stream biota survey soon so we can know how trashed the Tutaenui really is.

If you haven’t surely already deduced this, RDC, like councils everywhere these days, has been placing corporate interests above the interests of both the environment and the people who elect them. These same councils espouse ‘sustainability’ – the new ‘buzz’ word – while in reality their practices are everything but sustainable.

EnvirowatchRangitikei

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Landfill expansion granted consents … surprized?

I’m not faintly surprised at this decision. The day I attended the hearing and heard the ‘independent’ Chair’s Freudian slip … “When the consent is granted …”  illustrated quite graphically for me, the extent of the independence of the commission. In addition, all the concerns that any community would naturally have … leachate, trucks, property values … all these were effectively taken off the table. Hamstrung from the start. It is the neighbors of the landfill in particular who will have to live with this. And all those conditions … I’ll be watching keenly to see how strictly they’re adhered to. If it’s anything like the vigilance we have with other consents and pollution of our environment of late, it’s going to be an interesting road forwards.

“The Bonny Glen landfill expansion has been given the go-ahead.

The landfill’s owners, Midwest Disposals has been granted all resource consents to expand the operation.

The decision, released yesterday afternoon, granted the consents for 35 years with land use consents in perpetuity.

It means the size and life of Bonny Glen, near Marton, will increase significantly over the next four decades. The capacity will increase almost five-fold….”

Read the Wanganui Chronicle article by Zaryd Wilson: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503426&objectid=11450949

From the Wanganui Chronicle: Smelly and ugly – but necessary (the Landfill)

Smelly and ugly – but necessary

LEACHATE poisoning the Tutaenui Stream, rampant vermin, toxicity, litter, bad smells, increased truck traffic … the crime sheet against the Bonny Glen landfill near Marton is long and ugly.

That is the way it usually is for those lords of the underworld – rubbish dumps.

The application by the waste facility’s owners, Midwest Disposals, to significantly expand the site has naturally prompted fierce opposition from those who live sufficiently close to suffer from its operation.

That opposition has been well-voiced at the consent hearing in Feilding which wrapped up last month – though some concerning aspects around Bonny Glen’s business, extra traffic and leaching among them, were unfortunately ruled beyond the scope of the three commissioners who will issue their decision in May…. read article HERE

From the Standard … Wastewaste discharge to Tutaenui Stream to continue

April 10 2015 …. Caroline Brown from Palmerston North’s Manawatu Standard reports on the ongoing leachate issue and the Rangitikei District Council (RDC).

“The discharge of non-compliant wastewater into the Tutaenui Stream from the Marton Wastewater Treatment Plant is to continue, despite two reports revealing a raft of issues at the site…”

The Council Assets meeting reveals more of the usual ‘pay it forward’ rhetoric that’s been going on for nine years already … aka save money now and forward the expense to a future generation. Cr Dean McManaway says …

“…the council could not just wake up one day and say “no more”. It was a business in the Rangitikei employing people, whether the council liked it or not…”

As usual, businesses ahead of the health of the waterways and the people that use them. We may as well expunge from the records any suggestion of “Rangitikei … unspoilt”. It simply isn’t true.

Read the full article HERE 

From the Chronicle: Odour and vermin some of concerns raised about landfill

From the Wanganui Chronicle 25 March 2015

“The commissioners considering resource consent application for the Bonny Glen landfill expansion have concerns about odour, ground stability, landfill size and vermin.

They also want owners Midwest Disposals to keep the Marton community better informed….”

Read the article HERE

From the Mayor: Time required regarding the leachate issue

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NOTE:  CLICK ON THE ARTICLE TO ENLARGE

From the District Monitor, time is said to be required regarding this issue.

12 March 2015     I attended the Marton Community Committee meeting last night where Mayor Andy Watson was present, and raised the historic issue of there having been both missing and non-compliant leachate reports. This was not regarded as an unusual occurrence and in the bigger picture, neither it seems is the state of our water ways (whatever that may be given the Chronicle report prior to Christmas indicated that was difficult to guage , given reports were missing). I did express the irony of this given Horizons was mandated with protecting our environment, clearly set out in their website banner.

As regards the in-stream biota survey and the fact one had not been done since 2002, it remains unclear as to whether there will be another done to assess the health of our local stream, in spite of the fact that the consent required one every three years. I was advised by Mayor Andy to notify himself, the CEO and the Councillors by mail to further this matter.

To date, as at 20th May 2015 nobody has acknowledged my email. Ironic isn’t it that one is encouraged to communicate on’es concerns on a matter to the council via its community committee, only to be told at that meeting, to email the matter to the very persons one is speaking to at that meeting about the concern.

~ EnvirowatchRangitikei ~

Landfill verdict expected by early April

11 March 2014      Here is the latest from the Chronicle (Wanganui) regarding an outcome and the submissions hearing regarding Midwest Disposals’ landfill at Bonny Glen near Marton.

In the hearings I attended the independent commissioner chairing the proceedings, said, ‘When the consent …. if the consent is granted ….’  He quickly corrected himself by adding, ‘ Of course there are no guarantees…’ or words to that effect. My life experience tells me that this is as near to a Freudian slip a person can get. Basically he is saying what is really in his head. I’ve written to three editorial columns now about this fact and none have printed my emails. Well two haven’t, we’ll see on the third as I only sent it this morning’.  (An hour ago, still not approved).

This is a sign of the times I believe. Big business is in bed with government in terms of money & profits, and any rhetoric about protecting our environment, are probably mere window dressing. I’ve been reading increasingly that there has to be a compromise between maintaining the economy & considering the environmental effects of industry. Very convenient with a loose directive like this. Who is really policing it? Certainly with the Marton evidence to date, the RDC & Horizons appear to have been in collusion. If they’re not, then why have Horizons not meted out some kind of penalty for the RDC’s negligence resulting in pollution of our waterways? For NINE years? (See previous articles here on the Tutaenui Stream’s pollution by leachate by going to ‘categories on left side of site page).

So no, I’ll not be a bit surprized ‘when’ the consents are granted. The hearing will allow the company in question here to concede to provide some of the needed mitigation of damage … and the locals will be left to complain accordingly should the fallout they suspect will continue to happen … continue to happen. And should you have problems getting through to Council, just go to the Community Committee Meeting, and Council may accept their recommendation … or they may not … as Mr Hamish Allen discovered when he tried to raise the leachate issue in the first place.

Here is the Chronicle article anyway… and watch this space as I will be writing further about the ‘independent’ commissions & who comprises the panels.

Read the ARTICLE HERE

Wanganui Chronicle reports on the leachate submission

28 Feb 2015 The Wanganui Chronicle has reported on the submission by Mr Allan. Commissioner Brent Cowie has said it was a waste of everyone’s time. Not surprizing given they had taken, this along with the other important issues like land values and truck nuisance effectively off the table. Not a word by Mr Cowie on the fact that the submission is very damning of Horizons and the RDC. The submission provides documented evidence of total negligence in their care of the Rangitikei waterways, in particular the Tutaenui Stream. If you have not already, you can read Mr Allan’s full submission, including all of the reports that were made available at his request, (many were missing). Many show non compliance and yet the RDC have received little more penalty from Horizons than a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket.  The reports are uploaded onto the Rangitikei Environmental Health Watch website. Judge for yourself if they have not been very remiss in their responsibilities in caring for the environment as the Horizons website claims they do.

I attended the hearings the day of Mr Allan’s submission (and would have gone every day were it held in the actual home of the proposed extended landfill). Cr Soraya Peke-Mason slammed this decision early in the piece. One could be forgiven for thinking the whole process is mere window dressing for an already foregone conclusion/decision. One of the independent commissioners made a glaring Freudian slip during the proceedings, saying …. “once the consent … well if the consent is granted”….. One would hope the local people will take this matter up with Council & Horizons “once the consent is granted” because nobody else is going to. Not even these independent experts who purport to care for the environment.

Read the Chronicle article HERE

SUBMISSION REVEALS NEGLIGENCE BY AUTHORITIES REGARDING LEACHATE DISPOSAL

 Submission on RDC’s Leachate Disposal into the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Marton

On February 24th Hamish Allen, a Marton resident, presented a submission to the panel on a topic that is not considered to be part of the consent hearings. (For a background to the consent applications to quadruple the size of the Bonny Glen landfill go HERE). Neither, as was pointed out prior to the hearings, were property values or trucks.  Ironically, since these are the very concerns which automatically arise when a neighbouring landfill announces plans to quadruple in size.  Nevertheless, Allen’s submission concerns the leachate that is disposed of through Marton’s Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) and has been for nine or so years (deemed the RDC’s concern, not Midwest Disposals’) . This has been, rather than a formal arrangement on paper … a ‘gentleman’s agreement’. The levels have been poorly reported and only sporadically tested with many non compliances, as Allen’s submission demonstrates. He has supported his submission with documented evidence. There have been by all appearances, no penal consequences issued by Horizons for these failures in compliance by the RDC. Following is Allen’s submission which outlines the history of how the Marton Community Committe (MCC) of which he was a member at the time, tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to address this in 2011. There needs to be accountability here … as Allen points out in his submission

‘there can be no economy on a dead planet’. 

The consistent placing of economic interests over the environment is NOT sustainable. The very principles our regional authorities are purporting to pursue … Maintaining and enhancing our Region’s land, water, air, coast and habitat protection” (from Horizons’ website) …  are being held in flagrant disregard. These electedrepresentatives need to be held accountable. You can assist with that process by attending the Marton Community Committee Meetings and lodging your objections there: 

MARTON COMMUNITY COMMITTEE
Location: Youth Club, Centennial Park Pavilion, Humphrey Street, Marton
Wednesday 11th March 2015 7.00 pm

At the end of the submission below here, the original compliance and non-compliance reports will be available to access by this weekend, 28th Feb 2015. Any inserts of photocopied evidence within the submission can be clicked on to enlarge. 

READ ALLEN’S SUBMISSION HERE

WATCH FOR THE ORIGINAL COMPLIANCE REPORTS WHICH WILL BE UPLOADED TO THE SAME PAGE THIS WEEKEND …. 28TH FEB 2015

Wanganui Chronicle reports: Fears over toxic waste raised … Bonny Glen Submissions continue

Fears over toxic waste raised

By Laurel Stowell

CONCERNED: Geoff Mills.PHOTO/ SUPPLIED GEOFF-MILLS
CONCERNED: Geoff Mills.PHOTO/ SUPPLIED GEOFF-MILLS

“Leachate from the Bonny Glen Landfill could make Marton’s wastewater sludge too toxic to be trucked back to the landfill for disposal, Geoff Mills says…

Mr Mills lives in Marton and works in the water quality and water treatment sector. For the last 15 years most of his work has been overseas…

The Marton system has been unable to continuously comply with its resource consent for years, Mr Mills said, despite spending to improve it. Reports have said leachate from Bonny Glen is likely to be having a major effect…

It would be a long and costly process to determine the right pre-treatment for “abnormal waste such as tannery wastes”, Mr Mills said. He was not confident the result would work well, or that the company would be asked to pay the true cost.”

Read the full ARTICLE HERE

UNSPOILT? !!!

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Further Comment: 

Geoff and his wife Gretta, who both made submissions asked for the hearing to be adjourned until the problem of the leachate disposal is sorted however were denied and told  the consent ….“only concerned effects at the actual Bonny Glen site – regardless of whether decisions on it had effects elsewhere.”

The very topic that is of most concern to many local residents, as previously indicated here, has been effectively sidelined off the books. Another Marton resident, Hamish Allen, also made a submission regarding the leachate and was reminded that the topic was not part of the hearing. It is the Council’s concern we are told, and yet, the both the Council and Horizons have shown themselves to be grossly negligent over the issue … many years of missing reports regarding the levels of pollution discharged into the local waterways with neither a reprimand nor a penal consequence imposed. The public need to become persistent here in requiring both explanations for historical negligence, and transparent accountability for their future handling of this matter, and in particular the apparent collusion between the parties. We have here a typical example of corporate persuasion. The very organization that ratepayers believe are representing them, by all appearances are representing the conglomerate that is seeking to turn our ‘unspoilt’ region into a sewer (or toilet bowl) pretty much.

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As an additional note here, this sway that is now commonly held by corporations over governments and regional authorities world wide is a sign of new times to come. This situation will become even worse should the TPPA be signed by our Prime Minister who is currently taking part in negotiations that are secret and that they refuse to divulge to the very people whom they will effect. The TPPA will give corporations the right to sue governments if they refuse to comply with their demands. It is happening already. You can research this at the itsourfuture website. (Links are on this site’s TPPA page.)

~ Rangitikei Environmental Health Watch ~

Watching our environment … our health … and corporations … exposing lies and corruption

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