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Reopened Christchurch seaside dump an environmental time bomb?

Environment Canterbury has recommended to Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee that he extend the re-opened old landfill 100m from the Canterbury coastline.

The recommendation highlights Mr Brownlee’s grip on city and regional council planning documents, and the veracity of coastal hazard reports and policies.

The recommendation by the government-appointed commissioners comes as Christchurch City battles with residents over the tagging of 18,600 land titles on the basis of sea rise risk to coastal property.

But the council does not appear to be applying the same rules to the old Burwood landfill, which is a kilometre to the north of Christchurch’s Waimairi Beach. Most rubbish in Canterbury is sent to the Kate Valley regional dump at Waipara, about 45 minutes drive north of Christchurch.

It is a joint venture between the region’s councils and Transwaste.

It was established more than a decade ago because of environmental concerns about the Burwood landfill and its toxic proximity to the beach.

But after the earthquakes there was a huge increase in the amount of rubble and liquefaction to be dumped.

Partly because of the expense of dumping at Kate Valley and the amount of material, the Burwood dump came back into its own.

The Burwood Resource Recovery Park, as it is officially called, will need to continue operations until at least September 2021, the commissioners say. This is four years beyond the expiry of existing resource consents held by the operator (Christchurch City).

Further resource consents will need to be obtained to continue existing activities beyond September 2017.

As a result, the commissioners are recommending expansion of the dump to the immediate north of current operations.

The minister is expected to ratify the recommendation and amend the land use plan for the region.

posted with permission- see NBR

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