Composting company in breach of consents

By zaryd.wilson@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

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Abatement notice issued to prevent more material arriving

Fire officers damp down a pile of compost that spontaneously combusted in Castlecliff in March.  Photo/File
Fire officers damp down a pile of compost that spontaneously combusted in Castlecliff in March. Photo/File

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 holds a 13-year consent with Horizons Regional Council to discharge composted material to land but has 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 Whanganui District Council.

Both the district and regional council are in discussions with the trust about non-compliance issues, one being the smouldering of the material.

District council general manager property Leighton Toy said 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 had not followed its environmental management plan.

The four consent breaches include exceeding the maximum height of 3m, failing to keep accurate records of material coming on 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 not to bring further material on site to be composted," Mr Kinaston said.

Horizons consents monitoring officers met Whanganui staff on Tuesday and reported the remediation work undertaken by the district council was going well.

The composting site has been smouldering since March when the fire service was called to the site after it spontaneously ignited.

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

- Wanganui Chronicle

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