Plans for a new Auckland dump have come a step closer after Chinese interests who dominate the sector in this country got state consent to buy a huge Wellsford farm and forestry site.
The Minister for Land Information Eugenie Sage and Associate Minister of Finance David Clark approved Chinese-owned Waste Management NZ's application to buy 1010ha of freehold land adjoining State Highway 1 north of Auckland for a price unable to be revealed because it has been permanently suppressed.
The land is classified as sensitive so Waste Management NZ's application had to go through official channels.
Waste Management NZ plans the new dump on part of the Mahurangi Forest and Springhill Farm sites.
It is buying the land at Dome Valley from Matariki Forests which is 64 per cent American-owned, and Springhill Estate, in New Zealand hands.
Waste Management NZ is the largest operator in this country's waste industry, the decision said.
"It is acquiring the land for the purpose of developing a landfill to service Auckland City and the Auckland region. The landfill will be developed as a replacement facility for the applicant's existing Redvale landfill which is likely to reach capacity as early as 2026," the consent said.
Creation and retention of jobs, enhancement of domestic services with the new dump, advancing Auckland Council's strategies for future urban growth and the development of infrastructure and additional investment for development purposes through building the landfill were benefits cited in the consent approval.
Waste Management NZ also intends to provide walking access to the land along the Waiwhiu Stream, the consent said.
In January, the Herald reported that Aucklanders send 144kg of household rubbish each to landfill annually - that's 200,000 tonnes of rubbish collected across the whole city, every year.
Nearly a tenth of that is made up of items that have been recycled incorrectly, including soft plastic bags, which cannot be processed by Auckland council's machines. During Christmas and New Year, the amount we chuck away increases by 10 per cent and the number of items we send for recycling increases by 20 per cent.