LEACHATE poisoning the Tutaenui Stream, rampant vermin, toxicity, litter, bad smells, increased truck traffic ... the crime sheet against the Bonny Glen landfill near Marton is long and ugly.

That is the way it usually is for those lords of the underworld - rubbish dumps.

The application by the waste facility's owners, Midwest Disposals, to significantly expand the site has naturally prompted fierce opposition from those who live sufficiently close to suffer from its operation.

That opposition has been well-voiced at the consent hearing in Feilding which wrapped up last month - though some concerning aspects around Bonny Glen's business, extra traffic and leaching among them, were unfortunately ruled beyond the scope of the three commissioners who will issue their decision in May.


That decision, I suggest, is likely to be a general approval of Midwest's application, handcuffed to some stringent environmental controls.

Midwest want to make Bonny Glen bigger and last longer.

Despite the concerns, despite the emotions generated among residents, that could actually be a good thing.

The fact is that people create a heck of a lot of mess and we need landfills to deal with it.

They are far from the perfect answer, but they are often the best option we have.

And we need them to get bigger, so we need fewer of them as districts bid to close down their rotting shame pits. And we need the big ones to have their lives extended because in 30 years' time (Midwest is seeking a 30-year extension for Bonny Glen) we will still be dumping waste there.

In fact, operations such as Bonny Glen already have to jump through a considerable number of health, safety and environmental hoops. These are likely to be added to by the commissioners and, if properly policed, should make the landfill less of a burden to those living near by, and less of a danger to the environment.