Levin's landfill is running out of room and that has prompted consultants to urge Horowhenua District Council (HDC) to dispose of its rubbish elsewhere for six months while taking the time to fix existing problems, discuss future options and conduct the public on options on waste disposal.
Agreements were sought a few years ago to aim to close the landfill by 2025 and HDC signed an agreement with a number of parties in March 2019 to focus on early closure of the Levin landfill, addressing long-standing community concerns about odour and management of leachate to avoid impacts on the Hōkio stream.
From November this year Horowhenua's rubbish will go to Marton for six months, thanks to an arrangement with Midwest Disposals, who will also be monitoring the Levin landfill. This will ensure Horowhenua can fix issues with the Levin landfill and explore sustainable future options for rubbish disposal.
Council also needs time to address the latest compliance report from Horizons Regional Council, and mitigate the need to build a new landfill cell in the short term.
In February last year it became clear the current set-up at the Levin landfill will be unable to operate as is until the proposed 2025 date. It was initially thought that the current landfill cell would have sufficient capacity to last until the full decision-making process on the future of the Levin Landfill was complete.
During the suspension period, there will still be work being done at the landfill, but no placement of refuse. This work will include:
· Capping of cells 1A, 2 and 3 (earthworks contract) to comply with resource consent conditions
· All other operational activities such as the Landfill gas flare and leachate capture system to ensure compliance with resource consent conditions
· Regular monitoring of the site by Midwest Disposals
· Potential stockpiling of HDC's greenwaste for capping material
· Potential stockpiling of mixed glass for use on the landfill
· Work with the PMG to implement options that address leachate discharges from the closed landfill as per the landfill agreement and consent conditions.
Levin Landfill Project Management Group (PMG), made up of stakeholders from council, iwi, community and independent appointees, along with a Horizons Regional Council observer, has been working on the Levin landfill problems for some time.
They are pleased that an interim solution has been adopted which allows full consideration of the issues before the community, in particular the delay in opening a new cell and the ability to focus on responding to the latest compliance report from Horizons Regional Council.
Taking rubbish to Marton will not cost ratepayers any money and the public can continue to dispose of waste at either the Levin, Foxton or Shannon Transfer Stations.
Rubbish currently going to the Levin landfill from Ōtaki will also go to Marton's Bonny Glen Landfill.
Horowhenua's councillors will consider three options before making the final decision on the future of waste management in the district. Community feedback on that decision is critical and that process will take place from December 2021 to February 2022.
Waste Management options councillors can choose from are:
· Option 1 – Disposal at a third party disposal site (from the start of the new operations contract in May 2022).
· Option 2 – Disposal at the Levin Landfill (until no later than December 2025) and disposal at a third party disposal site from 2026 onwards.
· Option 3 – Disposal at the Levin Landfill (until landfill consents expire in 2037 or sooner if landfill capacity is reached).