Leachate from the Bonny Glen landfill may soon be treated on site rather than, or before, being dumped into the Marton wastewater treatment plant.
Rangitikei District Council and Midwest Disposals have been in discussions about how to best treat leachate (toxic runoff) created by the landfill.
Council has an agreement with Midwest to accept the leachate for payment, however it was largely responsible for the significant compliance failure of the plant.
This year, the Chronicle reported the wastewater plant had been non-compliant for most of the past decade, breaching environmental standards and monitoring requirements. The breaches are ammonia levels and discolouration caused by the leachate.
Council infrastructure manager Hamish Waugh told a council committee meeting last week that Midwest were considering treating the leachate on site.
"They are taking this very seriously," he said.
Mr Waugh said Midwest manager Paul Mullinger felt it was not an insurmountable problem.
"They're keen to talk with council and they know the cost is going to be on them. Their preference is on-site treatment, and they are well aware of the expectation on them and their obligations."
Mr Waugh said he expected "a clear plan as to what we or they are going to do over the next few months".
Mr Mullinger said Midwest were looking at a range of options for either pre-treatment or total treatment of the leachate. "To do nothing is not an option," he said. "We're looking at immediate things we can do and long-term options."
Councillor Nigel Belsham asked if Midwest would accept any sludge cleaned out of the plant in the future, and Mr Waugh said it was something Midwest were expecting - "I don't expect any price gouging either."
Committee chairman Dean McManaway said he was pleased discussions had been advanced. "It's good to see we've still got the hammer down on this."
Meanwhile the latest council report shows the wastewater plant is still non-compliant.