The Future of the Levin Landfill | Te Anamata o te Ruapara o Taitoko

Submissions close at 5pm on 31 January 2022

Future of the Levin Landfill thumbnail image.

We're reviewing the future of the Levin Landfill and seeking your views before deciding on this important matter. Inside our Statement of Proposal, you'll find the reasons for reviewing the future of the Levin Landfill and possible options for its future management for you to consider and provide us with feedback.

Statement of Proposal - The Future of the Levin Landfill | Te Anamata o te Ruapara o Taitoko(PDF, 1MB)

Why this consultation now?

We need this review to ensure service levels for 'solid waste' collection from residents and businesses are maintained, that the recycling opportunities are maximised and that a secure, affordable path for the disposal of residual waste is identified.

Council assessed the regulatory requirements, environmental concerns, the changing 'solid waste' market conditions, affordability considerations and community preferences before setting out the three options for the future management of the Levin Landfill. A considerable amount of investigation has gone into getting to this point, and supporting information is available at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, Shannon Library and online. All of the information that is not commercial-in-confidence is publicly available.


We've scheduled a two month consultation period rather than the usual one month consultation period to give you, our community, sufficient time to consider the options and provide us with feedback. This consultation will occur before and after Christmas in the lead up to framing the Council's Annual Plan.

Drop-in sessions are scheduled to allow you to talk with us and get answers from experts on the issues and options. Do make use of these opportunities. View our The Future of the Levin Landfill Drop-in sessions event page for more details on these sessions.

If you wish in February next year, there will also be an opportunity to speak to your written comments before the Council and before it deliberates on submissions received and makes its decision.

Planning for our district's future is a responsibility we all share. We encourage you to use this opportunity to be part of Council's decision making process. Be part of growing our sustainable future together. Make your submission, tell us which option you support before we make a final decision.

Submissions closed

Submissions closed at 5pm on Monday 31 January 2022. 

Submitters are advised that pursuant to the Local Government Act 2002 and subject to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, all submissions shall be made available to the public.

Where can I find hard copies of the Statement of Proposal?

Hard copies of the Statement of Proposal can be found at:

  • Horowhenua District Council – 126 Oxford Street, Levin
  • Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō – Bath Street, Levin
  • Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom – 92 Main Street, Foxton
  • Shannon Library – Plimmer Terrace, Shannon.

Where can I make my submission and how?

Submissions closed at 5pm on Monday 31 January 2022.

If you have any questions regarding this process please phone Council on 06 366 0999.

What is a landfill and what is sludge?

A landfill site, also known as a tip, dump, rubbish dump, garbage dump, or dumping ground, is a site for the disposal of waste materials.

Sludge is the residual material that is produced as a by-product of wastewater treatment processes. 

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

If you have questions please phone 06 366 0999 or email

What if I don’t agree with any of the options?

If you do not agree with any of the proposed options we would love to have heard from you via a submission what your alternative option or solution is.

Where will my rubbish go if it closes?

There will be no change to current waste services that the public gets from Council. These include the Council kerbside rubbish bags and the Foxton and Shannon Waste Transfer Stations. The rubbish will be disposed of at another landfill - which landfill is yet to be decided.

What is leachate?

Leachate is the liquid that drains from a landfill. It varies widely in composition regarding the age of the landfill and the type of waste that it contains. It usually contains both dissolved and suspended material. In modern landfills, like the new Levin Landfill which opened in 2004, leachate is collected from the bottom of the lined landfill and pumped out to be treated.  In Levin, this is treated in the Levin Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

What is landfill capping and why does it need to be done?

Capping involves placing a cover using clay over the material deposited in the landfill. Such covers are called “caps.” Caps do not destroy or remove contaminants. Instead, they help to prevent landfill gas escaping through the top of the landfill and also reduce the amount of rainfall that enters the landfill, reducing the amount of leachate created. 

Why does this impact our rates so much?

The Levin Landfill has historically accepted significant amounts of waste from the Levin Transfer Station and the Kāpiti Coast Transfer Station. The income from this waste has helped to reduce the cost of operating the Landfill.  In future this waste will not be disposed of at the Levin Landfill, so HDC will no longer be able to use this income to reduce the cost of its solid waste activity. 

Why do you think that waste volumes per person are going to decrease?

Waste volumes per person may increase or decrease in future.  However, Central Government is incentivising the reduction of waste and may also introduce regulations that force residents and councils to divert more waste away from landfills.  This is likely to reduce waste volumes in future.

Where does my organic waste go?

Currently all waste that is disposed of in the kerbside bags is disposed of at the Levin Landfill.  This will continue to go to a landfill under all the options.  When the current kerbside collection contract ends, Council will consider whether to introduce a separate organic waste collection.

Green waste disposed of at the Foxton or Shannon Transfer Stations is currently used as cover material at the Levin Landfill.  If the Levin Landfill closes, it will be taken to a composting facility instead.

Who are Morrison Solutions and why did you get their input?

Morrison Solutions is a local government consulting company with extensive experience in solid waste procurement.  They were commissioned to produce a business case assessing different options for the Future of the Levin Landfill.

How do you know that there will be another disposal facility that is willing to take on Horowhenua waste if Option 1 is adopted?

Council has been through a procurement process to identify alternative disposal solution(s).

When and where are the drop in sessions?

The drop in sessions for 2022 were:

  • Horowhenua District Council - 25 January 2022 – 1am to 2pm
  • Hōkio Reserve, Hōkio Beach – 25 January 2022 – 4pm to 7pm.

If Option 1 is selected, will there ever be a chance to reopen the Landfill?

This would likely require Council going through a new consenting process to reopen the landfill.

What are the environmental impacts if Option 3 is adopted?

There would be no change, or a slight improvement to the current level of odour around the Levin Landfill. 

There will be increased methane emissions from the disposal of Council’s waste, compared to Options 1 and 2.

There is no evidence that there is any leachate escaping from the modern Levin Landfill.  Ongoing operation, or closure, will not impact the leachate from the old landfill.

It's mentioned that Council does not collect enough waste by itself to justify the ongoing operations of the Landfill, so why don’t we contract other districts to transfer their waste to us to increase our collection amount and make some money?

Neighbouring districts currently have alternative disposal arrangements with different expiry dates, all of which are in 2023 or later.  None of these districts were willing to commit now to placing their waste in the Levin Landfill when these contracts end.

What was the point in getting consent to open this Landfill, if you're wanting to close it before consent expires or capacity is reached?

The Levin Landfill has operated for 17 years and provided a disposal location for Council’s waste during this time.  Since it opened, the solid waste market has changed substantially, particularly with the introduction of the Emissions Trading Scheme which makes it more difficult for smaller landfills to compete with larger ones. 

Why weren’t Options 4 and 5 offered to the public for consideration?

These options were not considered reasonably practicable at this time.  They could be considered again in future, if circumstances change. 

Does the Landfill cause unsafe water?

There is no evidence that the modern Landfill is currently causing environmental degradation of Horowhenua’s rivers, lakes and waterways.

If the Landfill does close and gets capped, what will happen to the Levin Landfill land? Can it be used in another way, or built on top of? If not, why?

The cap needs to be protected and also be visible for regular inspections.  Therefore, there are limited activities that are permitted on top of the closed landfill.  These include light grazing (eg sheep), or a reserve. The unused part of the landfill site could be used for a broader range of activities. 

Will Council build a transfer station in replacement of the Landfill if it is closed?

Council has no plans to build a new transfer station if the Levin Landfill is closed. 

Why is some information redacted from the public?

There are a number of people/companies that Morrison Solution contacted throughout the process. The confidential information is withheld in accordance with the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 Part 1 Section 7, (b) protect information where the making available of the information -  would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information; and (f) (i) the free and frank expression of opinions by or between or to members or officers or employees of any local authority, or any persons to whom section 2(5) applies, in the course of their duty.

Why can’t we burn our rubbish?

Burning rubbish in an uncontrolled manner would release all sorts of pollutants into the environment, which would have significant negative impacts on air quality, water quality, health and so on. As well, not everything that is in the waste stream is easily burned.

Horizons Regional Council aims to maintain and enhance the air quality throughout our region. Burning waste is hazardous to your health and our environment; your last option should be to burn waste. Please consider other disposal options first, such as composting, recycling, or taking waste to a landfill.

Why should I care what happens to the Landfill?

This is a significant decision for Council and has financial, environmental, social and cultural impacts for the district.

What does GDP mean when speaking about Wellbeing-economics?

'GDP' stands for Gross Domestic Product. This represents the value of all goods and services produced in a region or country.  The wellbeing assessment has looked at the change in GDP for the whole of the Horizons Region, as a result of the different options.

What happens if I don’t get my submission in on time?

In accordance with Council's Acceptance of Late Submissions Policy these will be accepted subject to a Council resolution at the beginning of the hearing or deliberation process (if applicable).  Late submissions will be addressed on an individual basis at the discretion of Council.

Submissions will not be accepted if any of the following apply:

(i)    The submission is received at a point in the process where Council deems it not practical to consider the submission.  This includes, but is not limited to, consideration of the submission will cause unreasonable delay in adopting any plan or policy or in making any Council decision.

(ii)   Consideration of the submission would result in that submitter having an unfair advantage over another submitter; or

(iii)  The submission is not directly relevant to the issue.  In this instance, the submission may be forwarded to the relevant process or relevant Council.

Why is the review taking place?

The review is taking place to ensure that we comply with our obligations under the Landfill Agreement and to assess the feasibility of the Landfill against its social, cultural, environmental, economic and financial impacts.  The review is required prior to the expiration of our current waste disposal contracts.