Waste disposal is a difficult issue for most councils. No one wants to live near a landfill. At the same time, we live in a consumer society which generates waste that needs to be disposed of in a way that does not adversely affect the environment. With the current Levin landfill taking thousands of tonnes of waste from the Kāpiti and Horowhenua community every year, council and community stakeholders are actively planning for a future that sees the landfill closed.
The existing landfill, located close to the coast, southwest of Levin township, has operated for nearly 50 years, with improvements in landfilling practise as new technology and regulation has come to the fore over recent decades.
The council and community are working on the challenges of managing odour, leachate, improving water quality and addressing downstream discharges. This all needs to happen in an environment where waste minimisation is a given, but waste volumes are increasing – you can find out more about our Waste Management Plan.
Not an easy challenge, but one the council and community are committed to solving – together. Following a tough process before independent hearings and Court action by the community and iwi stakeholders, a land-mark agreement has been reached to find common ground in the operation of the landfill and investigations for early closure and remediation of the site.
Council has committed to a Project Management Group (PMG) which is responsible for delivering these outcomes. The PMG has Council, community and iwi representatives. It also has independent oversight from an independent project manager and technical experts.
Council is also committed to ongoing engagement with the Neighbourhood Liaison Group (a broad collection of community stakeholders and interests in the Levin Landfill), the importance of these groups to inform council approaches cannot be overstated.
Everyone involved in the PMG, and the feedback from the community and Councillors, is that deeds not words are required over the next 12 months.
So what will the community see?
- an independent assessment of the early closure for the Levin landfill.
- a Councillor call on the closure date
- a plan to remediate the closed landfill
- a plan and action to address leachate losses to the Hōkio Stream
- independent reporting on compliance at the landfill
- ongoing work from the council in relation to waste minimisation for the Horowhenua community