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Christchurch City Council Media Release 4 February 2002

Canterbury councils OK Kate Valley landfill

The Kate Valley site in Hurunui District has been selected for Canterbury's new regional landfill, councillors from the region's 10 local bodies decided in Christchurch today (4 Feb).

The decision ends about seven years of planning and searching for a suitable site for a single modern waste disposal area to serve the region. The Canterbury Waste subcommitee was unanimous in its support for the Kate Valley site, with chairman Denis O'Rourke saying it would be a "huge leap forward for the environment".

"After seven years of consultation and investigation, this is the decision point," Mr O'Rourke said. "I am immensely proud that we are now on the way to such a high-standard facility for Canterbury."

Transwaste Canterbury Ltd, the joint venture between six of the councils and two private sector companies which will develop and operate the new landfill, will now go ahead with applying for the resource consents needed for the project. These were to do with land use, through the Hurunui District Council, and water and air issues which would be through the regional council, Environment Canterbury (ECan).

Mr O'Rourke said the Kate Valley site and standards set down by the committee meant the new landfill would do no environmental damage. The planned transfer station and transport system would also minimise the adverse effects of waste management in the region.

As well, the joint venture planned to set new standards for cutting the amount of waste going into landfills.

"This is a huge opportunity and a challenge for the whole community," he said. "Transwaste is set up to achieve more and more recycling, recovery and to work for waste avoidance.

"This is the beginning of a regional landfill, but we are already looking at closing it. The agreement is only for 20 years and the aim is for it to no longer be needed by that time. To do that, the entire community has to get very real about avoiding adding to the amount of waste, about recycling and recovery of reusable material."

The Kate Valley landfill will replace Burwood, a site developed in the early 1980s on the principle of "acceptable pollution". Kate Valley would be built to make sure there was absolutely no pollution, Mr O'Rourke said.

"We believe it will be significantly better than the world's best standards," he said. "The site is crucial to being able to achieve that."

At the peak of its intake about two years ago, the Burwood landfill was taking in about 250,000 tonnes a year.

Work to cut the amount of waste going to landfills meant Kate Valley would be smaller than Burwood _ taking about 220,000 tonnes a year _ despite serving more councils, a rising population, and a buoyant regional economy.

Higher environmental standards and waste minimisation work was built into cost plans, Mr O'Rourke said.

NOTES: The councils represented on the regional committee are Christchurch city (O'Rourke, Sally Buck, Ron Wright), Banks Peninsula (Bryon Porteous), Timaru (Lee Burdon), Waimate District (Len Shaw), Hurunui District (mayor Tony Arps), Mackenzie District (Bronwen Murray), Kaikoura District (Bryan Seddon), Waimakariri District (mayor Jim Gerard), Ashburton District (Bev Tasker) and Selwyn District (Bill Woods).

For more information: Contact Councillor Denis O'Rourke on 021 632 670.

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