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Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council have welcomed Central Government funding of $2.5 million for the operation of the Burwood Resource Recovery Park and landfill operation. The $2.5 million will help pay for machinery to process material on the Burwood site for recycling and recovery projects like roading.
The announcements accompany planning rule changes under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act which will enable Burwood to open a new waste “cell” as a permanent landfill for quake-generated demolition waste, liquefaction silt and infrastructure waste.
Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council will be consulting with affected parties on the conditions and details of the consents for the operation of the new cell at Burwood. The planning rule changes affect parts of Environment Canterbury’s Natural Resources Regional Plan and the Christchurch City District Plan.
“Environment Canterbury has been working constructively with CERA, the Christchurch City Council and the resource recovery park operator throughout the earthquakes to ensure that waste would be managed as close as possible to the source with the least environmental impact,” said Commissioner Peter Skelton.
“It became clear that we needed to find ways to minimise the impact upon the Kate Valley regional landfill,” said Christchurch City Mayor Bob Parker. “It was also important to reduce the number of truck movements to and from the site and Kate Valley for local residents and people living near the arterial routes.
“Opening up the new landfill cell will keep disposal and recovery costs to a manageable level and hugely reduce the number of truck movements between Burwood and Kate Valley. Materials like asbestos and other hazardous wastes will still be trucked to the regional landfill, but the majority of materials unable to be recycled or reused, which are not hazardous, will be safely disposed of in the new Burwood cell. It is estimated that around half the waste trucked to Burwood will be recovered and re-used,” he said.
Commissioner Skelton said it was essential that the coastal aquifer, which is part of Christchurch city’s groundwater zone, was well protected by consent operating conditions, which would be monitored by the regional council. A 20-metre fine sediment barrier and a geotextile membrane inserted between the landfill and the shallowest aquifer and upwards hydraulic pressure combined with the fact only inert and low-risk materials would be disposed of at Burwood Resource Recovery Park, would provide that protection, he said.
The Burwood Resource Recovery Park is looking to establish a joint venture under Transwaste Canterbury between Christchurch City, Waimakariri, Ashburton, Hurunui and Selwyn councils, as well as Transpacific Industries Group Ltd, the current operator of the Burwood site. Transwaste Canterbury has been successfully operating the Kate Valley Regional Landfill using this private/public partnership model.
Transwaste Canterbury Ltd is a 50:50 private public partnership between five Canterbury territorial councils – Christchurch City, Waimakariri, Selwyn, Hurunui and Ashburton Districtsand Transpacific Industries Group (NZ) Ltd.
The Burwood site was reopened after the September 2010 earthquake to temporarily hold waste generated by the earthquake. It originally closed in 2005 when the regional Kate Valley Landfill came on stream. After the February 2011 earthquake it continued to accept earthquake-generated silt and waste as an interim step in order to ensure the economic recovery of the city could advance as efficiently as possible.
Key advantages of the new Burwood cell:
Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council will be consulting with affected parties on the conditions and details of the consents for the operation of the new cell at Burwood.
The parties are: Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (TRONT) and any relevant Papatipu Rūnanga identified by TRONT; Canterbury District Health Board; Burwood-Pegasus Community Board; Parklands Residents Assn Inc; Queenspark Residents Assn and owners and occupiers of land adjacent to the Burwood Resource Recovery Park.