A Horowhenua hapū want Kāpiti's rubbish transferred to the Bonny Glen landfill in the Manawatū, instead of the current Levin landfill.
Ngāti Pareraukawa ki Hokio representative David Moore told Kāpiti Coast District Council's strategy and policy committee on Thursday the Bonny Glen landfill was "a sustainable long-term state-of-the-art dump which could be relied on not to be an environmental disaster, which is what we're looking at in a few years' time".
The Kāpiti council has a contract with MidWest Disposals until 2023 to take rubbish to the Levin landfill in Hokio Beach Rd.
Mr Moore said the Levin landfill had 400 odour complaints in recent years and leachate was going into the Hokio Stream beside the hapū's marae.
"I wonder how many of you have smelt landfill gas ... it is the most appalling smell. If you asked anyone from Hokio they will tell you there are odour events most weeks."
The landfill had seven consents, including no odour effects beyond the boundary.
The landfill was "in about the most undesirable place you can imagine — it's on porous sand country with a shallow ground water, close to a stream, close to the coast, and upstream of the Hokio Beach community".
He said the landfill, which had a 2mm plastic liner, had a lifespan of between 50 to 70 years depending on circumstances.
"We've already had 15 years of this liner in operation ... another 35 years that dump will be uncontrollably leaking into our environment. There's nothing you could do at that stage. I suppose you could dig it up, like they've been forced to overseas costing millions of dollars, but in reality that's a very unlikely circumstance. We say prevention is better than cure."
Iwi and others didn't want to be left with a million tonnes of rubbish for future generations to clean up, he said.
"I would rather pay a little more to get rid of my rubbish and know that it's going to a sustainable, environmentally-friendly dump rather than going to a potential nightmare, which we believe Hokio is going to turn into."
He said at the time the Kāpiti council starting sending rubbish to Hokio, in 2007, the hapū had been assured it was short-term measure until a long-term option had been found, and the council was aiming to be zero-waste by 2015.
"You gave us an undertaking — we're calling you on it."
Kāpiti mayor K Gurunathan noted his council was in a contract with MidWest.
"For us to be able to breach it, or even say you can't take it to the Hokio landfill, has to be based on the fact the landfill is no longer compliant.
"We don't hold the authority to define that — Horizons Regional Council does — and so far we haven't received that," he said.
"Our understanding at this very moment is that it [Levin landfill] is compliant," Infrastructure services manager Sean Mallon said.
"There is clearly still an issue with the current consent conditions at the Hokio landfill being breached and unacceptable odour issues are ongoing," said Cr Jackie Elliott, who is council's representative on the Wellington Regional Waste Forum and Regional Waste Management and Minimisation Focus Group.
"I am not satisfied that adding to the long-term detrimental effects on the Hokio environment by the dumping of Kāpiti's waste there daily is acceptable or in line with our community's aspirations and goals of clean sustainable waste management.
"I believe Kāpiti's public would be prepared to pay more, in the way of targeted rates or at the transfer station gate, to enable guaranteed cleaner more sustainable waste and recycling management and practices.
"I believe it would be useful to hold a referendum on the issue."
Horizons Regional Council strategy and regulation group manager Dr Nic Peet told Kāpiti News the Levin landfill was compliant, though it was in the the midst of a thorough annual assessment so the compliance status could be reviewed.
Where there had been solid evidence of the landfill being non-compliant, Horizons had taken a number of steps, including publicly recording non-compliance, issuing an abatement notice in regards to odour, and a comprehensive public review of consent conditions, particularly for leachates and odour.
"The review resulted in tighter conditions however a number of residents have appealed the review outcome and continue to maintain they want the landfill closed.
"Unfortunately the appeal means the new tighter conditions can't yet be enforced.
"In the meantime, Horowhenua District Council has installed a flare and changed the way fresh material is covered, as well as undertaken odour management and leachate capture and interception.
"The rate of complaints has significantly dropped," he said.