Tag Archives: Horizons

Bonny Glen Landfill Submissions: What Midwest Disposals is Not Responsible For

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

Advertisements

Bonny Glen: No records kept of leachate in water

Bonny Glen, near the landfill
Bonny Glen, near the landfill

No records kept of leachate in water

20 Dec 2014

This article published in the Wanganui Chronicle, 20 December reveals a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with Midwest Disposal regarding disposal of leachate into the Marton WWT Plant. These levels we’ve been told in earlier reports are regularly exceeding acceptable levels and the Plant cannot handle them. The RDC’s record keeping on the levels disposed of has been so lax, according to this latest article, that the true environmental impact has been ‘hard to calculate’.

This ‘gentleman’s agreement’ is somewhat disconcerting and something is not right here. We have:

  • an unsigned contract that is clearly benefiting only one of the two parties and to the detriment of the other
  • as a result of this ‘agreement’ the health of the local stream being compromised
  • one of the parties (trusted with the health of the public waterways) showing itself negligent in its duty to maintain clear records about the levels of disposal …. dating back to 2006?

The community needs to connect some dots here & demand to know why this negligence regarding the health of our local environment. Why is the water being compromised?  Something is not right here … seven years of missing data, a gentleman’s agreement and now a consent application to carry on greatly increased operations for 35 more years. If that consent is granted then it needs to be with some strict adherences regarding disposal of its leachate and Council maintaining meticulous and transparent records.

An additional note, a recent report in the RangitikeiLine Bulletin (cited in the Feilding Herald, page 7, & dated August 14, 2014) regarding the volume of trucks bringing rubbish in to the landfill has concluded ‘the trucks are unlikely to become more numerous on a daily basis’ if the resource consent for an extended landfill is approved. The question needs also to be asked then, how can this add up when it is proposed the landfill’s capacity will quadruple? How can there be a continuation of the same volume of trucking with quadruple volume of rubbish?

Emoticon making decision

Local feedback suggests there is a far greater volume of truck traffic than is being cited. One observer has counted a conservative estimate of 35+ in a morning, an average of one every 10 minutes. They are loud, often smelly, often dropping refuse and often speeding it’s been reported.

It is the same with the cited frequency of the leachate trucks. It’s said in the article cited above that a leachate truck dumps leachate once every second day, whereas an observer on the truck’s route presumably (in comments at the end of the article) has observed a leachate truck passing up to three times a day.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE