I was contacted this week by residents who live in town reporting a foul, sewage-like 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 conduit for action between the public and Council) and 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 also, 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.
To read more on historic feedback on the vagaries of the landfill go here.
For the history of the landfill and the quintupling (almost) of its original size go here.
Manawatu Standard – By NICHOLAS MCBRIDE
“The Waitangi Tribunal was told to imagine being stuck waste deep in a long drop to understand the conditions that Muaupoko iwi ancestors are in at Lake Horowhenua.
The hearing opened at the Horowhenua Events Centre in Levin on Monday, with 22 claims looking at Lake Horowhenua, Hokio Stream and the Horowhenua land block.
On Monday Judge Caren Fox said it would be one of the most profound hearings in the district….
At the second morning of the hearing, Phil Taueki staked his claim for his whanau to be included in the Crown’s Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the Muaupoko Tribal Authority. He also raised a series of issues relating to the pollution of Lake Horowhenua…Taueki estimated hundreds of millions of dollars would be required to clean the lake.
“In his submission, Taueki claimed contaminants from the Levin landfill and wastewater treatment plant were pooled at the Hokio Beach area which then seeped out to the beach.
He said “clouds of brown sewage” were visible in the ocean.
“Because of the tides, all that sewage washes down the coast to Kapiti.”
Taueki said his whanau had always had a presence in the area, compared to other tribes.
“There was one whanau that never left, that was the Taueki whanau… The report by the Crown barely mentions Taueki, which shows how much weight you should put on their research… no-one is going to move me from my land at the lake.”
A reminder to us all, long term pollution like this eventually catches up with us. Somewhere down the line, the lack of addressing these issues along the way, culminates in crisis. As long as profits take precedence over people and environments this kind of scenario is going to continue. With the TPPA signed now, we can now, unfortunately, look forward to more of this.
This is from the Wanganui Chronicle and updates us on where RDC is up to with their plans to solve the significantly long standing status of non-compliance with regard to the leachate pollution of the Tutaenui Stream. (To read the full history of this and the non compliance reports see former Martonian Hamish Allan’s submission to the consent hearings earlier this year. There should be an in stream biota survey every three years and it appears there have only been two). More on this later.
Recently a local resident who lives on the truck route informed me he sees 12 round trips per day of the leachate tanker. This is a significantly larger volume than the number that has been cited to the public.
An upgrade is good news will not be before its time.
Here is the Chronicle article:
“A multi-million-dollar, three-year upgrade of the Marton wastewater treatment plant has been proposed.
Rangitikei district councillors will this morning discuss changes aimed at making the plant compliant with its resource consent.
The MWTP has been non-compliant for at least a decade, partly due to its acceptance of leachate (run-off) from the nearby Bonny Glen landfill. The latest compliance report found the plant’s discharge into the Tutaenui Stream “significantly non-compliant”. At times, ammoniacal nitrogen levels have been 35 times the recommended limit and deemed to adversely affect aquatic life…”
I was contacted today with further feedback on the trucking situation in Marton and the Bonny Glen Landfill owned and operated by Midwest Disposals, sold to them a decade or so back by the Rangitikei District Council. There have been ongoing local concerns with their gentleman’s agreement to dump their leachate into Marton’s Waste Water Treatment Plant (read a submission made by then local man Hamish Allan), with a trail of non-consents that Horizons have failed to enforce adequately, if at all. With the landfill now set to quintuple in size following the granting of consents to extend, trucks will almost double in number in spite of claims last year that they would not increase at all. A member of the public has expressed an extensive list of concerns regarding noise, smell, volume of traffic and the leachate problem. I have quoted and slightly condensed these:
- “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
- 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.”
Please contact the site if you have any similar concerns regarding this landfill and how it is affecting you. And or contact the RDC and let them know.
~ Envirowatchrangitikei ~
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 it 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?
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 Aug 14 2014) 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 entire house shaking when they went by, often dropping refuse along the way, and leaving odour. The person is not alone in their concerns, other neighbours are also fed up with the trucks.
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.
Please also consider contacting the site so the information can be registered there as well.
~ EnvirowatchRangitikei ~
The Chronicle is reporting on the leachate. There have been more discussions regarding the ongoing treatment of this toxic runoff: “Leachate from the Bonny Glen landfill may soon be treated on site rather than, or before, being dumped into the Marton wastewater treatment plant…”
We heard on June 12th that: “…it would still be a few months before a solution would be finalised concerning leachate…” and that ” Bonny Glen manager Paul Mullinger … was taking the issue “very seriously”. They are “… considering some sort of on-site treatment and did not view the issue as insurmountable”… and Deputy Mayor Dean McManaway says “It’s important we keep chipping away and not let this rest.”
Note the operative words here: “may … few months … considering … chipping away”.
It is interesting that on one side of the table, the company that managed to secure a nice loose ‘gentleman’s agreement’ to dump the toxic leachate in the first place, and contaminate our local stream to the extent RDC and Horizons seem unwilling to conduct ongoing in-stream biota surveys, concealing just how loose that agreement was … and on the other side that same company managed to effectively exclude all discussion of leachate, truck nuisance and landfill pests from the hearings altogether. And now it’s all go ahead with the consents safely in hand, still we’re required to ‘chip away’ at things. Some of us are not fooled by all this drag-the-chain rhetoric.
In the meantime, as the latest Chronicle article points out, the waste water treatment plant is still non-compliant.
Read the article here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503426&objectid=11465277
“While more rubbish is set to pour into soon-to-expand Bonny Glen Landfill, the Rangitikei District’s water and roading will not be trashed.
The Rangitikei District Council assets and infrastructure committee heard on Thursday it would still be a few months before a solution would be finalised concerning leachate from Bonny Glen.
Leachate causes a problem for the Marton Wastewater Treatment Plant….
Bonny Glen manager Paul Mullinger …. was taking the issue “very seriously”….Cr Dean McManaway said it was good to see this was a priority. “It’s important we keep chipping away and not let this rest.” “
Watch this space … leachate ’causes a problem’ is quite an understatement … witness seven years of regular non compliance which RDC has failed to address thus far in spite of it being highlighted by Marton’s Community Committee. RDC is ‘chipping away’ at this and … it will reportedly be several months before a solution is finalized.
Here’s hoping this will not be another of those delayed solutions that never quite materializes.
~ EnvirowatchRangitikei ~
Read the article by Caroline Brown here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/69307957/bonny-glen-landfill-impact-on-water-and-roads-to-be-managed
This is an inspiring report from NZ’s Campbell Live about how waste food from shops and supermarkets, still quite edible, yet destined for landfills, is gathered up and distributed to the less fortunate folks who can’t afford food. This is efficient recycling at its best … with a unique touch of kindness to boot.
“Earlier this year, Campbell Live covered New Zealand’s $872 million food scandal and highlighted the amount of food we waste and the food we buy to eat but never do.
As a nation, we throw away 122,000 tonnes of food per annum, just from households.
That study got us thinking, and many of you too – what about commercial food waste, uneaten food from supermarkets, cafes and restaurants?
Sadly, most of it is also dumped – but not all.
Campbell Live reporter Jendy Harper spent the day rescuing the food and feeding the less fortunate in Wellington.”
Watch TV3’s VIDEO at the link: http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/campbelllive/kaibosh-eliminates-food-waste-by-feeding-less-fortunate-2015052019#ixzz3awDcGTmu
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