Historical decision as Council votes to keep Levin Landfill closed

Published on May 31, 2023


The future of the Levin Landfill has been determined.

Today saw Horowhenua District Councillors deliberate on the key topics in the Long Term Plan Amendment 2021-2041 (LTPA) unanimously deciding that the Levin Landfill will remain closed and alternative uses will be investigated for the site.

Mayor Bernie Wanden says, “This has been an incredibly significant decision and one that has taken a long time to get to. We’d like to thank the many people who have engaged with us regarding the future of the Levin Landfill. It was a key topic in the Long Term Plan Amendment, and one many people engaged with. We thank you for your thoughtful discussion, feedback and ideas. They have all been considered carefully.”

“This is a historic decision for Horowhenua and one which will impact generations to come. A lot of mahi has gone in behind the scenes to ensure a well-informed decision. This decision sets a new direction for the Levin Landfill. There is further consenting to go, but we are pleased to be moving forward. This is the first step with more to take.”

Rachel Selby member of the Project Management Group (PMG) and representative from Ngāti Pareraukawa says, “This is a momentous decision by Council and it’s a decision that we have waited more than 20 years for. We’re grateful to Councillors for their unanimous decision and showing leadership that has listened to our voice.”

As part of the LTPA, three options were presented to the community to consider and choose from. 294 submissions were received on the subject.

Option 1 continues the current situation – the Levin Landfill is closed and will stay closed. However, our district will keep producing waste that will need to go to a landfill in another district – at the moment, our waste is going to the Bonny Glen Landfill in the Rangitikei district. 70 submissions were in favour of this option.

Option 2 was Council’s preferred option. Like Option 1, the Levin Landfill will remain closed but we will explore an alternative use for the landfill site, such as a native plant nursery or local resource recovery park, to help offset some of the costs associated with managing the district’s waste. We would still need to pay for transporting our waste out of the district and would still keep up the necessary inspections, maintenance and other compliance requirements. This was the most popular option, with 147 submissions favouring this option.

Option 3 would see the Levin Landfill reopened, and used to dispose of our district’s waste until the consent expires in 2037 or until it reaches capacity. 77 submissions were in favour of this option.

“The Future of the Levin Landfill has been a complex and important issue. The social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of Iwi, the wider community and future generations, and the costs of waste disposal have been key considerations around this decision for all involved. In partnership with Iwi, hapū and the community, we are developing a Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP) as we strive for continuous improvement in this area to protect the beautiful environment we will live in.”

“A further decision will be needed about how to use the Levin Landfill site. As part of the consultation process a number of interesting ideas were suggested to us alongside investigations from Council Officers. In the upcoming months we’ll consult you about the alternative uses, which would align with our review of the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.”

The WMMP adopted by Council on 18 July 2018, sets out how Council will progress efficient and effective waste management and minimisation in the Horowhenua District. The Plan sets targets for dealing with waste over the next six years and provides an action plan to meet those targets. One of the key objectives we’re working towards is improving community understanding of issues and opportunities for minimising and managing waste and ensuring businesses and households have access to appropriate waste disposal.

To learn more about the history of the Levin Landfill and the consultation process visit letskorero.horowhenua.govt.nz/the-future-of-the-levin-landfill