Hamish Allan's impassioned submission at Tuesday's Bonny Glen Landfill hearing was a waste of everyone's time, commissioner Brent Cowie said.
Mr Allan arrived with an armful of notes and spoke at some length - seizing his opportunity.
"This is the only forum I have to bring this up in a public way," he said.
The issue of Bonny Glen leachate treated at Marton's wastewater system has been eating him up for years. It can't be considered at the hearing, which is only about the effects of an expansion of the landfill on the land at Bonny Glen, near Marton.
The owners of the landfill, Midwest Disposals, want to expand it nearly five-fold - from 12.6ha to 44ha in size, with at least three times as much waste stored and a flue for burning waste gas.
Leachate from the waste is taken off the site - six or seven truckloads a day go to Marton's wastewater treatment system at Crofton, according to submitter Chris Roach, who lives nearby. Marton's wastewater system often doesn't comply with its resource consent, and the leachate may be the cause.
Its high ammonia content had caused significant noncompliance, Mr Allan said. Ammonia is toxic to stream life and the treated wastewater is discharged into Tutaenui Stream.
Mr Allan said the leachate was the single most important issue of the proposed expansion.
"They can export the most toxic byproduct of their operation off site, legally."
A member of the public brought the leachate issue to Rangitikei's community board, which includes Mr Allan. The board asked the council how much leachate was going into the wastewater system, what it consisted of and how it affected the system.
It made four recommendations, which Mr Allan said were not accepted, and its questions were not answered.
Neither Rangitikei District Council nor environmental watchdog Horizons Regional Council were doing their jobs, he said.
If he didn't mow his lawns he was told they would be mowed for him, and he would have to cover the cost.
"Who covers the cost if Rangitikei District Council and Horizons Regional Council don't do their job? Who pays the price? We do, and not just us but future generations."
He wasn't the only one annoyed at the limited scope of the hearing. Submitters Chris Roach, Richard Redmayne, Euan Grant, John Forrest and Rob Gollan all said matters such as increased traffic and lowered property values should be considered.
"They're not part of the consent application, but they're vital to the district," Mr Roach said.
Mr Allan opposed granting of resource consent for the expansion.
Palmerston North City Council water and waste services manager Rob Green submitted in favour of it.
He said the city closed its own landfill in 2007 and now all its waste went to Bonny Glen. The city amassed an estimated 100,000 tonnes of waste a year. Some 56 per cent was diverted to composting and recycling, but that still left 44,000 tonnes to go to Bonny Glen.
The aim was to eventually divert 75 per cent. But that would still leave it needing a landfill. It had no plans to build its own, and the nearest other possible landfills were in central Hawke's Bay and Levin.
Asked whether Palmerston North appliances and e-waste such as computers went to landfill, Mr Green said some probably did, but that was a national matter.
"The whole country should be concerned. Palmerston North can't develop a unique recycling centre."
Rob Gollan owns 30ha near the landfill, and said the expansion would take top farmland out of production.
He said it smelled and was not covered daily. Packaging with blood and meat products blows on to his property, where grazing animals are not supposed to have contact with them.
Gulls defecate on the roof of the house, which collects rainwater. Feral cats could be spreading toxoplasmosis, a disease that affects stock and humans.
He hoped the landfill wouldn't be used to dump diseased animals after a TB or foot and mouth outbreak.
He suggested a webcam on the tip face, so people can see whether it's covered daily.
John Forrest, now 95, is a former Rangitikei County chairman and remembered the history of the landfill.
He said the district bought a farm for disposal of its own waste, and the site was to have lasted 100 years. Then it became a regional facility, serving Wanganui, Manawatu, Palmerston North as well as the Rangitikei. Then it was sold into private ownership and the council lost control.
"The application is for a totally unacceptable expansion to bring toxic material from an ever increasing area," he said.
Turakina farmer Euan Grant was concerned about landfill leachate running off into the Kahuraponga Creek. It runs through Bonny Glen and Turakina village and is used for stock water.
He wanted to know more about the "gentleman's agreement" for Marton's wastewater system to treat Bonny Glen leachate.
- The Bonny Glen Landfill hearing is now adjourned, while Midwest Disposals produces its written right of reply. That is expected in March.
The three commissioners on its panel will make their decision after that.