Smouldering compost breaches consent

By zaryd.wilson@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

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The company which manages a smouldering compost site at Balgownie is in breach of four resource consent conditions including height restrictions and accurate record keeping.

Natural Earth Solutions Ltd hold a 13-year-consent with Horizons Regional Council to discharge composted material to land but have been issued with an abatement notice following significant non-compliance.

The company, owned by the Nga Hononga Marae (Charitable) Trust, manage the compost site and lease the Hinau St property from the Whanganui District Council.

Both the district and regional council are in discussions with the Trust regarding a number of non-compliance issues; one being the smouldering of the material.

WDC general manager property Leighton Toy said council staff had been involved in managing the smouldering material with heavy machinery and assistance from the Fire Service.

Meanwhile, Horizons consents monitoring team leader Pita Kinaston said Natural Earth Solutions Ltd had not followed its environmental management plan which detailed how it should operate the site.

The four consent breaches include, exceeding the maximum height of 3m, failing to keep accurate records of material coming onto the site and failing to submit an annual monitoring report to Horizons.

"The site has been significantly non-complied and an abatement notice has been served to formalise an agreement with Natural Earth Solutions Ltd not to bring further material onsite to be composted," Mr Kinaston said.

Horizons consents monitoring officers met with WDC staff on Tuesday and reported the remediation work undertaken by WDC was going well.



The composting site has been smouldering since March when the Whanganui Fire Service were called to the site after it spontaneously ignited.

Natural Earth Solutions Ltd director Dave Towers said the company would not comment on the matter until it had concluded discussions with the two councils.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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