Rubble from earthquake-damaged buildings will continue to be dumped at a Christchurch landfill until 2017, the city council confirmed today.
The council said resource consent had been granted to keep dumping demolition waste at Burwood Resource Recovery Park in the north of the city for the next five years.
Around 350,000 tonnes of construction and demolition rubble has already been taken to the park since it was set up in February last year, using special powers under Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act (Cera), which bypassed the normal resource consent process.
Another 150,000 tonnes is expected to be taken to the dump as the city's rebuild continues.
Local residents have complained about the dust and noise from trucks carrying the waste to the site.
But the council said today that an acoustic fence would be built and Landfill Avenue would be realigned to allay their fears.
Council water and waste manager Mark Christison says the consent and the conditions attached to them balance the essential role the park plays in Christchurch's recovery with the disruption caused to local communities.
"Christchurch has an unprecedented amount of construction and demolition waste to deal with following the earthquakes, and our wastewater system could not keep going without somewhere to deposit the sand from broken pipes."
In the accompanying report on the decision, Commissioner Ken Lawn says the most significant issue was the effect on residents of heavy vehicles travelling along the first part of Landfill Avenue, where it adjoins residential properties.
"I reached the conclusion that utilising the existing roading alignment produced effects (mainly noise and dust) on those residents that were unacceptable for an extended period of time (up to five years).
"The applicant has agreed to a number of measures to remedy those effects. These include shifting the Landfill Avenue formation, the construction of an acoustic barrier, and other conditions on the maintenance of the road and the movement and conditions of the heavy vehicles using the road," he said.
Environment Canterbury Regional Manager RMA Monitoring and Compliance Brett Aldridge said the Burwood landfill had been seen as a pragmatic option for dealing with the large volume of waste resulting from the earthquakes.