Tag Archives: Midwest Disposals

Tonnes of 1080 poison from a flooded Sth Westland storage shed was recently disposed of at Marton’s Bonny Glen landfill

 

Note: 30 tonnes in total were buried at the landfill consisting of 14 tonnes of prefeed bait, and 16 tonnes of 1080.

By Carol Sawyer

JJ NOLAN TRANSPORT’S FLOODED 1080 STORAGE SHED, HAAST, SOUTH WESTLAND – POISON WAS DUMPED AT MARTON LANDFILL!!

Today we learn that the flood-damaged 1080 poison was trucked and ferried over 1,000 kms to the ironically-named Bonny Glen Landfill *** at Marton, Manawatu/Whanganui… read on :

On May 18, 2019, I received this response to an OIA request from Carl Johnson, HS Compliance, Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), regarding the storage of 1080 baits in a flood-prone and flooded shed belonging to JJ Nolan Ltd at Okuru, Haast, South Westland.

The shed containing 1080 baits was flooded during the recent West Coast flood (25,26 March, 2019) that swept away the bridge over the Waiho River at Haast and caused huge damage in Westland, and further up the coast too.

“Hello Carol

On the 28th of March we received notification and following information from DOC regarding 1080 being affected by the flood:

“On the day of the flood water did seep into the shed storing 1080. 
The water rose above the timbre ( sic ) pallets the bait sits on and reached some of the bottom bags.
No green dye was seen leaching out of the shed
No bags were broken open and there was no loose bait in or outside of the shed. All packing was and remained intact.
The bait that was affected by water was disposed of.”

Ho hum ! The flood “reached some of the bottom bags”.

“Some” bags! Rather an understatement, DoC! In fact more than 30 tonnes had to be disposed of!!!

Today David Haynes, Co-leader, NZ Outdoors Party, sent me the attached Official Information Act response he received from the Environmental Protection Authority, which gives the true story, plus the extraordinary fact that the damaged poison was trucked back up to Marton in the North Island….. a distance of 926 kilometres by road, plus the Interisland ferry!

See original story here:

https://www.facebook.com/carol.sawyer.3511/posts/2338532503093729

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***Bonny Glen Landfill – see stories here : https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/deal-will-see-taranaki-waste-truc…

https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/contractors-voice-concerns-over-b…

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/bonny-glen/…

RELATED: concerns about the disposal of the landfill leachate to Marton’s waste water treatment plant were raised in a submission regarding the quadrupling in size.
https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/bonny-glen-submissions-hearings/

 

NOTE:

400 tonnes of 1080 baits contain enough pure 1080 poison to kill up to 17 million x 70 kg human beings (and make another 17 million extremely ill). One tonne can kill 42,500 70 kg humans and make another 42,500 70 kg humans very ill (LD50 0.5 – 2 mg per kg b/w – Negherbon)

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OIA RESPONSE:

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Petition: CLOSE THE LEACHATE LEAKING LEVIN LANDFILL

Here is a Horowhenua petition about the local landfill you may like to consider signing … all info contained herein, and click on the link at the end to take you to the petition site to sign. The petition was not created by EnvirowatchRangitikei, however we are advertising it on the campaign creator’s behalf.

TO: HOROWHENUA DISTRICT COUNCIL

Close the Levin Landfill as the uncontrollable toxic leachate has started to contaminate the Hokio stream.

Why is this important?

Levin LeachateHorowhenua District Council is hell bent on keeping the Levin Landfill open despite the huge environmental and financial costs. HDC has admitted they cannot contain the landfill leachate that seeps into the Hokio Stream. Their approach is to change resource consent conditions so they can legally pollute the wider environment including the stream.
It begs the question why?
As a member of a community group who have been keeping an eye on the landfill operation for over 17 years I have come to the conclusion it’s all about politics, as nothing else makes sense.
About ten years ago Mayor Duffy campaigned that he was going to make half a million dollars per annum by importing Kapiti’s rubbish into the Levin Dump. They made a secret contract (they say this is commercially sensitive) with Midwest Disposals. Although they have been telling the public that all is well the truth is the landfill has been losing vast amounts of ratepayers money and is now over $4.5 million in debt.
The reason they are in debt is because the landfill is located in the worst spot imaginable, in permeable sand-country, near a stream and beach, upstream of a township, on shallow ground water and on sensitive ex Maori occupied land. Any of these points should have been a reason not obtain a resource consent but it was pushed through by Horizons Regional Council and HDC in 2002 without proper process which was later investigated by the Parliamentary Commission for the Environment who gave both councils a damming report. Unfortunately the culture hasn’t changed.
Because of the landfills location on sand country, millions of extra dollars has to be spent on trying to contain the toxic leachate which has proven to be impossible.
A five yearly review is now underway with Horizons imposing a new set of conditions. These conditions are being contested by HDC.
So we have the two councils fighting each other, wasting hundreds of thousands of our dollars, when it could have all be resolved if Horowhenua District Council would come clean and discuss the option of the alternative landfill at Bonny-Glen which is far more cost effective and environmentally efficient.
With enough people power we can get rid of this disgraceful polluting dump from our backyard and start to restore our once pristine environment so please sign the petition.

Campaign created by
Malcolm Hadlum

Marton Residents Report Wind from the Bonny Glen Landfill Direction 6-7 km Away Smells ‘Obnoxious … like sewage’

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
truck-333251_1280
Some Marton residents hear up to 3 trucks in the space of 5 minutes drive past, shaking their homes like an earthquake

Comment:

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.

P1160034
Leachate is dumped into Marton’s WWTP in unknown quantities under a ‘gentleman’s agreement’, regularly exceeding consent levels

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.

EnvirowatchRangitikei

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.

P1160034
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

Nestle Pays Only $524 to Extract 27,000,000 Gallons of California Drinking Water – from Antimedia

More revelations on Nestle from Claire Bernish at ANTIMEDIA, August 20, 2015

Firstly, 

Some thoughts on our own supplies of water in NZ:

P1160151
Lake Horowhenua

Many Kiwis will be aware of similar water issues here, particularly the Hawkes Bay where water rights have been sold to a Chinese company at bargain rates, giving them the right to extract, bottle and sell, whilst local orchardists pay through the nose for water to irrigate their orchards. Watch for a post on this issue. Water rights is an issue of growing importance, something we were all warned about by Maude Barlow in her book ‘Blue Gold’. These supplies, particularly aquifers, are indeed gold now as the rivers world wide are becoming increasingly polluted to the extent they are unsafe to drink or often even to swim in, as in the case of Lake Horowhenua. Continually the environment is being compromised in favour of corporate profits, and our authorities are letting them away with it. This reeks of corruption in the light of our so called ‘sustainable’ councils which speak

Bonny Glen Landfill
Midwest Disposal’s Landfill

with forked tongues. Not only are they allowing foreign companies to pillage precious supplies at ‘mates rates’, they also turn a blind eye to industry’s ongoing and blatant pollution of our precious waterways. This is evident in Rangitikei’s ongoing issue and lack of accountability with regard to the dumping of leachate into our water systems by local landfill owners, Midwest Disposals. Watch this space.

EnvirowatchRangitikei


Now More on California & Nestle’s Super Cheap Water Rights

“In 2013, the company drew 27 million gallons of water from 12 springs in Strawberry Canyon for the brand — apparently by employing rather impressive legerdemain —considering the permit to do soexpired in 1988.

But, as Nestle will tell you, that really isn’t cause for concern since it swears it is a good steward of the land and, after all, that expired permit’s annual fee has been diligently and faithfully paid in full —all $524 of it.” ….

“There is another site the company drains for profit while California’s historic drought rages on: Deer Canyon. Last year, Nestle drew 76 million gallons from the springs in that location, which is a sizable increase over 2013’s 56 million-gallon draw” …

“Though there is no way to verify exactly how much Nestle must spend to produce a single bottle of Arrowhead spring water, the astronomical profit is undeniable fact: the most popular size of a bottle of Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water (1 liter) retails for 89¢ — putting the potential profit for Nestle in the tens of billions.

Activists have called for a boycott of Nestle Waters and all Nestle products until they are held accountable for their actions in California.”

Read the full article here: 

http://theantimedia.org/nestle-pays-only-524-to-exract-27000000-gallons-of-california-drinking-water/


Marton’s Waste Water plant to get an upgrade

An article by Zaryd Wilson from the Wanganui Chronicle on the waste water treatment plant that has featured greatly throughout the whole recent process of the consent hearings. The matter being the company Midwest Disposal’s disposal of leachate from its Bonny Glen landfill into the plant. Amounts dumped have exceeded consents and been the subject of a long standing status of non-compliance. You can read about that process on the Bonny Glen page.

(The Bonny Glen landfill was sold to Midwest by the Rangitikei District Council around a decade ago and a leachate-dumping agreement was informally put in place – a gentleman’s agreement – that has been far from satisfactory going by the non-compliance history).

A local has contacted the site recently reporting that there are 7-12 round trips on average per day by the leachate tanker. Sometimes two are operating.

“A multi-million dollar upgrade to Marton’s wastewater treatment plant has been endorsed by councillors.

The plan, which includes a second anaerobic pond, new storage tanks and community involvement in the process, was discussed by Rangitikei District Council’s assets and infrastructure committee last week.

A contributor to the current plant’s failure was leachate (landfill run-off), which was trucked to the treatment plant from Bonny Glen landfill… 

Councillor Nigel Belsham said if it was trade waste causing problems to the plant and not domestic waste, the bill should be picked up by industry.

“I don’t believe that ratepayers in this area should be paying to allow trade waste to be dumped into this plant,” he said. “Opus [consultants] have said that we’ve got a plant that can handle what it was designed to handle.”

Read the article: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503426&objectid=11498302


Further Links:

For info on Bonny Glen: https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/bonny-glen/

Leachate history & non compliance reports: https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/bonny-glen-submissions-hearings/

Local Feedback: https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/bonny-glen/local-feedback/

Damning feedback on Bonny Glen landfill; traffic, noise, smell, and the leachate is far in excess of company claims

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 ~

Anzac, General Freyberg and the Once Pristine Lake Horowhenua (Pt 1)

The iconic ANZAC poppy

Here is a story of pollution at its worst. ANZAC, unexpectedly this year (2015) became the avenue of discovery and the event that prompted me to write this post. A note first to non-Kiwis/Aussies, ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps … every 25th of April, we commemorate our brave soldiers … our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, who both risked and sacrificed their lives in the two World Wars.

Freyberg in his youth at Oriental Bay, Wellington (NZ)
A young Freyberg at Oriental Bay in Wellington NZ

I hadn’t intended going to an ANZAC service and haven’t done since my father passed away in 2007. It brings back my deep sadness at losing him. An ad however, in the Horowhenua Chronicle, was brought to my attention by a family member about a special service to be held at Lake Horowhenua, Levin, honouring Lord General Freyberg for the centenary of  the Gallipoli landing.  My father had been his driver for four years during WWII, and Lake Horowhenua was one of the venues Freyberg had trained at in NZ as a young swimmer.  His swimming would later earn him the VC (Victoria Cross) in WWI. The Horowhenua Chronicle read:

” Lieutenant General Bernard Freyberg was a dentist in Levin before World War I; by the end of the war he was a decorated hero and recipient of the Victoria Cross. He earned the first of his four Distinguished Service Order medals for a swim he undertook on the morning of the invasion of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. In darkness, Freyberg had towed to shore a raft of flares to light as decoys before undertaking unarmed and alone a reconnaissance of the large army entrenched nearby.”

This ANZAC service was being organized by Phil Taueki (Muaupoko iwi) one of Lake Horowhenua’s owners and kaitiaki or guardian of the lake.  The original commemorative plans would have seen swimmers crossing the lake however, those plans were dropped. You will see why shortly.

General Freyberg, his batman laurie Keucke and driver (my father) Jim Vernon
General Freyberg (centre) Corporal L. Keucke (left) and L. Sgt. J. Vernon (right)

We had no idea Freyberg had trained in Lake Horowhenua, or even that he had lived so close to our home town, only fifty or so minutes drive away. We decided to go to the service and take along with us the group photo my father treasured of the General, the General’s batman (also my father’s good friend) Laurie Keucke and himself, taken en route from Arrezzo, Rome, when they’d stopped for a ‘brew up’ and refreshments .

Lord General Freyberg

“… although it could be frightening  being on the road and always vulnerable to attack, nevertheless the General was always without fear … ” L. Sgt. James Vernon (Driver)

My father remembered Freyberg as a fearless man who already had 18 wounds at that time. His driver from El Alamein to Monte Cassino to Rimini, he said that although it could be frightening  being on the road and always vulnerable to attack, nevertheless the General was always without fear.

Freyberg apparently had a sense of humour too behind his fearsome exterior and knew the boys called him ‘Tiny’. Because his parents had emigrated from the UK to NZ when he was just a small child,  he would undoubtedly have experienced the Kiwi culture and its characteristic sense of humour growing up. For example, when staff who didn’t like the fact that Kiwi soldiers didn’t always salute them, he’d suggested they try waving instead!

“… they wouldn’t get away with that in the British Army … ” (General Freyberg)

The New Zealand guys always gave him a bit of stick too my father said. Knowing of his swimming expertise, when Freyberg and his men were getting ready to cross the Sangro River during the Italian campaign, someone called out, “Hey Freyberg, you gonna swim across?”. This was met with a tight lipped, “they wouldn’t get away with that in the British Army”, and as always with this kind of comment, a gleam in his eye.

The kind of man the Freyberg was is evident too in his posing for the group photograph. Generals wouldn’t normally be photographed I’ve been told, with that level of staff . After WW II when Freyberg visited Dad’s home town Whanganui, he’d broken rank and hugged my father when he spotted him in the parade … exclaiming how he always remembered the wonderful breakfasts he’d cooked him in the desert.  I always remember him as an excellent cook. After Freyberg’s appointment as Governor General of NZ after the war in 1946 my father and other of Freyberg’s staff I’ve heard, would call on him for a cup of tea at his home in Wellington, and every year, there would always be a Christmas card from Government House.

Lake Horowhenua

Lake Horowhenua, Levin, NZ
Lake Horowhenua, Levin, NZ

Returning to Lake Horowhenua, it turns out that the pristine lake the young dentist had trained in all those decades ago, had since been transformed  from a valuable source of income and kai (food) for Muaupoko … into a literal toilet bowl. Raw sewage had been pumped into it for two decades starting in the 1950s, and although it ceased in the 1980s, the lake has continued to be polluted to this day by effluent from both surrounding dairy farming and from local agricultural activity. The price tag to clean up the pollution and realize the dream of having swimmers cross the lake on the day was estimated by Horizons to be $2.886 million.

This story is all too familiar. Here in the Rangitikei we have our own pollution scenario, where locals have complained that the extension to Bonny Glen landfill to now nearly quintuple its size, will turn our ‘unspoilt’ district into the toilet bowl rather than the ‘grain bowl’ of the lower North Island. ‘Unspoilt’ is the featured word on our official district logo. This is clearly not true.

“Two-thirds of more than 160 monitored river swimming spots in New Zealand have been deemed unsafe for a dip”   NZ Herald  30/1/2015

Read Part 2 of this post with more on the events that transpired that ANZAC Day.

Dad 2

~ EnvirowatchRangitikei ~

The trucks to Bonny Glen … local concern about speed, noise and road damage

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 ~

More on Bonny Glen’s leachate disposal … they’re ‘chipping away’ at it

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

Bonny Glen Landfill impact on water and roads to be managed … from the Standard

“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

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 Chronicle … Softening the blow … More tree planting for Bonny Glen

Midwest Disposals has added further planting to its plans for the proposed Bonny Glen landfill expansion.

The minor changes are in response to concerns highlighted by commissioners considering the company’s resource consent application.

Midwest has applied for resource consents with Horizons Regional Council and Rangitikei District Council to extend the life and size of the landfill near Marton. More trees will be planted along the edge of the site to mitigate the effects the landfill will have on the landscape and views…. read article HERE

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

More on Marton’s leachate saga

Plant performance queried

By Zaryd Wilson

The persistent resource consent compliance failure of the Marton Wastewater Treatment Plant has come under scrutiny.

Representatives from Rangitikei District Council fronted the Horizons Regional Council environment committee yesterday to explain the plant management and decisions made.

The plant’s discharge into the Tutaenui Stream has been failing compliance for at least a decade and is in breach of environmental and reporting conditions.

An independent report last year highlighted leachate, which the plant accepts from Bonny Glen landfill, as the main factor behind significant compliance failure. Without the leachate, the plant would likely meet compliance. RDC has accepted the leachate for a number of years under an informal “handshake” deal in return for payment from landfill operators Midwest Disposals Ltd.

Council representatives acknowledged problems with the MWTP and said they were committed to meeting compliance.

But it is going to cost.

“We regard it as serious and we’re taking our time to get the decisions correct,” Rangitikei Mayor Andy Watson said.

Rangitikei’s infrastructure manager Hamish Waugh said council had improved its data reporting in the past 12 months.

“I acknowledge that it wasn’t up to scratch in the past.”…… read the article HERE

Wanganui Chronicle

Who will pay? Probably not the main polluter in this dance anyway. “…we’re taking our time to get the decisions correct” (emphasis added) …. well that is the truth. And in 2011 ignored attempts by the public via its own community committee to get this whole fiasco out in the open and dealt with.

~ Envirowatchrangitikei ~

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? !!!

tile-rangitikei-1

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.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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 ~

Litter, smell and vermin plague tip’s neighbours

The Wanganui Chronicle continues to report on the submissions hearing in Feilding this past week…

Litter, smell and vermin plague tip’s neighbours

By laurel.stowell@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

Litter, smell and vermin from the Bonny Glen Landfill will only increase if it is expanded, Linda O’Neill says.

She and her husband Chris live in one of the closest houses to the Midwest Disposals landfill near Marton. On Thursday they made a submission to the hearing considering whether to allow it to expand.

They oppose the full extent of the expansion, and especially the full 160m height the “mountain of rubbish” would attain.

When they bought their property in 2008 they didn’t know the landfill could expand. At that stage it was due to close either in 2028 or when it was full – whichever happened first….. READ THE ARTICLE HERE

Company expects tougher rules in landfill expansion

From the Wanganui Chronicle … article by Zaryd Wilson as the submissions hearing continues in Feilding …

Company expects tougher rules in landfill expansion

By Zaryd Wilson

EXPANSION PLANS: The resource consent hearing to expand the Bonny Glen landfill began in Feilding yesterday. PHOTO/ BEVAN CONLEY 160215WCBRCBONN02
EXPANSION PLANS: The resource consent hearing to expand the Bonny Glen landfill began in Feilding yesterday. PHOTO/ BEVAN CONLEY 160215WCBRCBONN02

“Bonny Glen is an essential piece of regional infrastructure and new consents will provide greater environmental protection – that’s the view of Midwest Disposals, which wants to expand its waste operation there significantly.

The consent hearing for the expansion of the landfill near Marton began in Feilding yesterday in front of three independent commissioners, with the landfill company putting its case first.” ….

Read the article at its SOURCE:

~ Rangitikei Environmental Health Watch ~

Submitters not given time slots at hearing

Submitters not given time slots at hearing

By Zaryd Wilson

Submitters on the extension to the Bonny Glen landfill are having to “put their lives on hold” because they haven’t been given a time slot to speak at a resource consent hearing.

A hearing is under way in Marton on the proposed extension of the landfill near Marton.

Rangitikei District councillor Soraya Peke-Mason, who on Monday said the decision to hold the hearing outside Rangitikei was an “insult”, has again criticised the process. She said many submitters in her Turakina Ward were still waiting for a time slot…. read the full article HERE

Comment:

I agree with the concerns outlined to date. The venue to begin with is totally impractical for people who are working or unable to travel this distance daily for the 9 days of the hearings. As has been pointed out in this article, folks are waiting around for a time slot. All of this works against a fair and democratic process. The professionals involved in this process, the people who have spent $1.5 million investing in it and defending it … their salaries will continue and time off work for them is not required. It is their work. The folk who will have to live with these important decisions being made here, are having stumbling blocks put in their way. How many employers are going to freely give these folk time off their work to participate? Who is going to take valuable vacation time off to tend to business? Ordinary people need to survive. Having negotiated these obstacles they are now forced to wait around in uncertainty to speak.

And how difficult can it be to arrange this locally, within reach of the participants, with a practical timetable made well in advance of the event so folks can prepare accordingly? Clearly the decision to hold the even in Feilding has come as a complete  surprise going by Cr Peke-Mason’s criticisms on Feb 16th. Let’s face it, these decisions involve not only the lives of those making submissions, but the lives of their children and grandchildren. Midwest is seeking for consents for a quadrupled landfill with a life span of over 30+ years. It’s very clear here who is the dog and who is the tail in this process.

~ Rangitikei Environmental Health Watch ~

Cr Soraya Peke-Mason calls Bonny Glen hearing location an ‘insult’

Bonny Glen hearing location an ‘insult’

This article is from the Wanganui Chronicle regarding  the venue for the submission hearings …. Rangitikei District Council’s Soraya Peke-Mason has slammed the decision for hearings to be held in Feilding ….

By zaryd.wilson@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

“Soraya Peke-Mason has slammed a decision to hold a hearing on the expansion of the Bonny Glen landfill outside the district, calling it an “insult” to Rangitikei ratepayers.

Midwest Disposals Ltd, which runs the landfill near Marton, has applied for resource consents with Rangitikei District Council and Horizons Regional Council to expand the operation…..” read the full ARTICLE HERE

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

Masterton DC … Not Cost Effective to Argue Down Midwest Disposals’ Increase in Gate Fees

Bonny Glen Landfill
Midwest Disposal’s Bonny Glen Landfill near Marton

In spite of a prior pricing agreement with Midwest Disposals, a report by the Masterton District Council’s Finance Manager David Paris (December 2014) has detailed an unexpected cost increase in gate fees to take effect from Jan 1st this year. The district’s three Wairarapa Councils have an agreement with Midwest to accept their solid waste that extends to 2018 and includes fixed pricing. This increase in the gate fee of $3/tonne was justified by Midwest on the basis that they need to cover the increase and cost of NZ Carbon Units, part of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that came into effect from 1 January 2013. Under this scheme operators are required to purchase credits based on tonnage.

Masterton Council expressed at their meeting that they believe they have grounds to dispute the increase (you can read the full details in the Council records at this linklegal costs and expert advice would negate any savings that could be achieved by arguing the cost down. (There is a clause in the agreement that allows Midwest to pass on other levies.)

Prices were to increase from 1 February 2015, allowing time for operators to be advised of the changes. The cost would also be passed on to domestic consumers and prices for trailers, vans and utes would be increased. And kerbside bags, not yet, but will be looked at in the next review.

Here we have a classic example of low-key corporate bullying. This company whose actions the Council believed they had the grounds to dispute did not do so … purely on the basis that the whole exercise would be too expensive and therefore not cost effective. And as always in these cases the cost is recouped from the consumers.  So here we have a precedent; any other binding agreement Midwest chooses to renege on in the future, they can, for exactly the same reason … the financial cost is too high for a Council budget to oppose. This makes a laughing stock of any agreement really. What is an agreement worth if it’s not binding? Why even make one if you have no intentions of sticking to it? This is the reality of corporate license.

Back in 2009 the Wairarapa News reported on the impact rubbish disposal prices were having on low income residents. It was said then that because the Masterton District Council has opted to go for the user-pays model, people were having to pay upfront for council bags and at the tip face, and for many that was a good $10 out of a $60 per week budget for food. These changes were initiated in 2005 with the proposed closure of their Nursery Road tip.

Clearly the cost of rubbish disposal is hitting people evidenced by the regular dumping of refuse around public street receptacles, clothing bins and along roadsides outside of town and city boundaries.

SOURCE ARTICLE LINKS:

Masterton District Council Meeting minute (Dec 2014) http://mstn.govt.nz/council/meetings/2014/December/215_14.pdf

Masterton rubbish collection in for radical changes (2005)

 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wairarapa-times-age/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503414&objectid=10923408

Rubbish costly for the vulnerable (2009): http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/wairarapa-news/3095574/Rubbish-costly-for-the-vulnerable

Masterton dump costs set to rise (Dec 2014)

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wairarapa-times-age/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503414&objectid=11371764

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