In a growing district like Waimakariri, it is important that waste is managed so that we can reduce the amount of rubbish that is sent to landfill.
Waste management services
The Council provides a number of waste management services for district residents, businesses, schools and visitors:
- A weekly kerbside refuse bag and fortnightly recycling wheelie bin collection service is provided to approximately 75% of the district’s households
- Waste disposal, diversion and recycling services are available at the Council's transfer stations: Southbrook operates seven days a week, and Oxford is open for two days each week
- Operation of a cleanfill disposal site - access to this site is limited to companies registered with the Council to ensure only compliant cleanfill is deposited there.
Landfills in the Waimakariri District
The Waimakariri District does not have any operating landfills, although the Council manages five closed landfill sites at Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Oxford, Mandeville and Cust. Residual waste is sent to the regional landfill at Kate Valley in the Hurunui District.
Other wastes are disposed of as follows:
- Green garden waste is transported to out-of-district composting facilities
- Kerbside recycling is sent to the Eco Central Ltd MRF in Christchurch
- Other diverted waste is sent to appropriate facilities for recycling, processing or treatment.
Waste - The Facts
In 2017/18 a total of 269,609 tonnes of waste was sent to the Kate Valley Regional Landfill from transfer stations in Christchurch City, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Selwyn and Ashburton Districts.
Waimakariri District, with around 11% of the contributing population, sent 17,515 tonnes of general waste to Kate Valley - only 6.5% of the total quantity. This averages to around 770 kg per household (296 kg per person) over that one-year period.
Landfilled waste is not reprocessed or recycled, and does not break down over time. Disposing of waste at landfills is a sign that we’re not using our resources efficiently.
The district is doing quite well in diverting materials away from landfill. In 2017/18 6,536 tonnes were recycled and another 4,039 tonnes of garden waste, rubble, tyres, laminated windscreen glass, e-waste and hazardous wastes were diverted from the waste sent to Kate Valley Landfill. That’s a 37.6% diversion rate.
Recycled and diverted material quantities have been steadily increasing from 1998/99 when our transfer stations opened. However, the amount of waste we’re landfilling has been edging up over the last five years from a low of 14,635 tonnes in 2012/13, and we can turn that around by reducing the amount of waste we all send to landfill.
Looking at waste disposal on a per-person basis, the average amount of waste each person in Waimakariri sends to landfill has remained fairly consistent since 2012/13, sitting between 321 and 294 kg per person per year, and was 296 kg per person per year in 17/18. The amount of diverted waste attributed to each person has also been increasing each year since 1998/99 (apart from slight drops in 2008/09 and 2014/15) and reached a high of 178.6 kg per person per year in 17/18.
The Council’s most recent waste audit in 2016 showed that Waimakariri District Council rubbish bags have 54.3% compostable waste in them, and 12.7% of the materials could have been recycled; private collector rubbish bins have 64.3% compostable waste in them, and 7.4% that could have been recycled.
Combining the results of both bag and bin audits, just over 70% of the materials put in bags and bins as rubbish could actually be diverted from landfill. We’re introducing the new organics bin collection service to divert as much of those compostable materials from landfill as we can, and we’ll get it composed instead.
Using these waste audit findings we’ve calculated that 2,706 tonnes of garden waste; 1,949 tonnes of food waste; and 696 tonnes of recyclable materials were put out at the kerb in bags and bins and sent to landfill in 2017/18.
Waste Management & Minimisation Plan
The Council reviewed its Waste Management & Minimisation Plan in 2016/17: we considered over 2,600 submissions to the draft WMMP, before approving inclusion of an optional organics and rubbish bin collection service for further consultation with the Long Term Plan. The Council adopted the Waste Management & Minimisation Plan 2018 after the LTP was approved. The approved kerbside collection option and proposed upgrades at Southbrook resource recovery park provide our district with a target of reducing waste to landfill by 58kg per person by 2029. This is a 20% reduction from 294 to 236 kg per person, and a 34% increase in diversion from 170 to 228 kg per person.
Solid Waste Activity Management Plan
The Council's Solid Waste Activity Management Plan gathers together information on the solid waste assets and services. It sets out the strategies and financial requirements for the solid waste activity for the next 10 years.
Solid Waste Bylaw and Waste Licensing
The Council adopted the Solid Waste and Waste Handling Licensing Bylaw 2016 to control waste management activities within the District. This Bylaw is intended to prevent nuisance from the Council’s kerbside waste and recycling collection services and those of private waste collection operators, and regulates the use of Council’s transfer stations, recovery facilities and waste collection points. The Bylaw also includes provisions to regulate and monitor waste handling facilities within the District, through licensing of such operators, and requiring as a condition of licensing that waste data be provided to the Council.
Non-natural rural waste research
The way farms and rural businesses deal with their waste is the focus of a study being done for Environment Canterbury, reflecting the growing interest in improving sustainable farming practices.